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Amazon Brand Registry Trademark Tips

Individuals and companies who sell their products on Amazon should be aware of their Brand Registry service. Amazon Brand Registry provides sellers with control over product detail pages and, perhaps more importantly, will expedite the process of removing counterfeit goods from the Amazon marketplace.

As Amazon says:

Amazon Brand Registry helps you protect your registered trademarks on Amazon and create an accurate and trusted experience for customers.
Your enrollment in the Amazon Brand Registry provides access to powerful tools including proprietary text and image search, predictive automation based on your reports of suspected intellectual property rights violations, and increased authority over product listings with your brand name.
Enroll now so your brand and Amazon can work together to reduce potential intellectual property rights violations and promote an accurate representation of your brand on Amazon.

Note the word “trademarks” in the first sentence. Amazon Brand Registry has been around for a few years, but, as of May 2017, the program requires that you have a registered trademark in order to apply.

In the U.S., that means that you have to have registered your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Click here to learn Trademark 101 - all the basics you need to know

I’ve been writing about trademarks on this blog for years. It’s a complex subject, and there’s no way to tackle it all in one blog post. So here are a few quick tips for folks who want to get their trademark situation sorted out in order to qualify for Amazon Brand Registry:

  • You have to be the owner of the brand in order to apply for a trademark registration. Resellers and other third parties are not allowed to apply for USPTO trademark registrations.
  • Filing a USPTO trademark application doesn’t take very long. However, the USPTO takes quite a while to review and approve trademarks and issue registrations. Plan for it to take at least 9 months from the day you file your application to the day you receive the trademark registration. And sometimes, if there are issues with the application, it can take much longer than that. So if Amazon Brand Registry is important to you, get your USPTO application in now so the clock will start and you won’t have to wait longer than necessary.
  • You can only obtain a registration if the trademark is in use in interstate commerce. This means, in most cases, that you will have to have actually sold the goods in another state before you can get the actual registration – and therefore before you can apply for Amazon Brand Registry.
  • USPTO trademark applications require that you identify the specific goods and services that the trademark is being used in connection with. You can’t just register your brand name across the board – you have to be specific about how you’re using it.
  • While you legally can file your USPTO trademark application yourself, there are a lot of complexities to trademark law that a non-expert wouldn’t be aware of. Doing it wrong can cost you a lot of time and money. Unless you’ve done this before and you know the rules and procedures, it’s highly recommended that you work with an attorney to assist with the filing.

To sign up for Amazon Brand Registry, click this link.

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