In the modern product marketplace, a dynamic and comprehensive online presence is crucial to the continued success of most brands. Consumers have moved away from the traditional notion that goods must be purchased at brick and mortar retail stores. As a result, the rate at which goods are bought and sold online continues to skyrocket.
As one of the giants in the online retail world, Amazon continues to capitalize on the success of their online marketplace. But recently, they have also increased their efforts to protect online buyers and sellers from intellectual property infringement, and the resulting pitfalls, by making changes to the Amazon Brand Registry.
What is the Amazon Brand Registry?
The Amazon Brand Registry is an online tool offered by Amazon that enables users to more accurately represent their brands, to find and report violations, and to share information that Amazon uses to proactively prevent violations.
Amazon has previously offered a version of its Brand Registry, but the recent changes institute several new requirements that users should be aware of. Notably, Brand Registry users must now show a valid trademark registration from either the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, India, or Australia in order to register their brand using the service.
What does that mean for online sellers?
To enroll a brand, users will need to show that their trademark has a live registration, issued and active, on the Principal Register of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The user must provide the government-issued serial number granted by the USPTO confirming the registration. The registration must show the typeset text of the words or numbers in the mark, or if the mark is an image-based mark, the registration must show an illustration drawing which includes the words, letters, or numbers in a stylized form. Trademarks that are solely image or design marks, such as the “Nike swoosh,” without a literal text or numerical element, are not eligible for the Brand Registry.
What does that mean for United States business owners who have not yet started the process of registering their trademark?
Trademark rights develop based on use of a particular trademark in connection with certain goods and services. It is recommended that trademark owners apply to register their trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, to obtain certain rights and privileges associated with protecting and defending their trademark rights. Now, with these Brand Registry requirements, there is even more incentive for trademark owners operating on Amazon to formally register their trademarks.
How Do I Register My Trademark?
With the help of a trademark attorney, a trademark owner should complete a comprehensive search to confirm that the trademark is available for registration on the Principal Register, then file an application with the USPTO in the appropriate classification of goods and services, accompanied by the requisite government filing fee. The process of applying for and obtaining a trademark registration from the USPTO takes several months, and can even stretch into a year or more. Current Brand Registry users, or users who wish to utilize the benefits of the program, should get started as soon as possible by contacting a trademark attorney to assist them with the trademark filing process.
The Amazon Brand Registry can give sellers peace of mind and protection when it comes to securing their brands and preventing intellectual property infringement. However, it is important for sellers to be aware of the trademark requirements that come along with this additional protection.
If you would like more information about the next steps in registering your trademark, please contact LoTempio law at 1-800-866-0039.
Are you interested in learning more about what makes a good trademark, and why certain trademarks are rejected? Here’s a video!
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be legal advice and is meant to be for educational or informational purposes only. Please do not use the article or contents of the article without permission. For legal advice and questions, please contact attorney Vincent LoTempio.