According to Amazon, its goal is to become the most customer-friendly company in the world. In order to protect customers from counterfeiting on their marketplace and to make it easier for brand owners to control their own brand products, Amazon made it possible for them to register their own brand via the Brand Registry. Unfortunately, registration with a trademark and patent office is often not sufficient to protect a trademark against counterfeiting or misleading information on online marketplaces.
In the details below, we will find out to what extent trademark registration on Amazon ensures brand protection, which requirements apply and how the registration of your own trademark is carried out.
The most important prerequisite for registration with the Amazon Brand Registry is an active trademark registered with an official trademark office. The office responsible for trademark registration in Germany is the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA). Registrations in state trademark offices in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, India, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the European Union are accepted for respective Amazon marketplaces. Text-based and image-based trademarks with words, letters or numerals are suitable for registration on Amazon, but not purely figurative trademarks. It is required that the registered trademark name matches that of the application to the Brand Registry. It is also possible to identify oneself as the owner of the trademark.
In addition, the products and packaging sold under the brand name must clearly bear the brand name or logo. In addition, a Seller or Vendor Central account must be available or created prior to registration.
Advantages of Trademark Registration
Customer and Brand Protection
Registering a trademark with Amazon offers a number of ways to counteract counterfeiting and misinformation concerning your own trademark. In this way, both trademarks and customers are protected.
Advance Search Tool
After registering your trademark with the Amazon Brand Registry, you can use search tools that can locate content from Amazon websites worldwide. You can search with terms, ASIN lists or even images. This makes it much easier to detect trademark infringements.
Trademark infringements can be reported with a simple process. According to Amazon, 95% of these reports are checked and handled within eight hours.
Based on the information you share about your brand, Amazon automatically removes potential violations and inappropriate content. The more information you share, the more Amazon can protect the brand.
According to Amazon, registered trademarks report an average of 99% fewer potential infringements than before the introduction of trademark registration.
As the owner of the brand, you receive the highest write permissions for the product detail pages of your branded products. This gives you control over titles, bullet points, and product descriptions and allows you to actively counteract false or misleading content if your branded products are sold by other sellers too.
Amazon’s brand registration support is available round the clock worldwide.
Another great advantage of Amazon brand registration is the additional possibilities it offers for the presentation of branded products.
Enhanced Brand Content
Anyone who sells a registered trademark on Amazon has the option of replacing the usual product description with the Enhanced Brand Content. In this way, the product description can be extended by additional, more appealing content such as additional product images or comparison tables in addition to text.
Amazon Brand Store
It is also possible to create a store for your own brand on Amazon. If customers click on a brand name on a product detail page, they will usually receive a list of products from that brand. However, if a Brand Store has been created, customers will be redirected to it. This is where you can showcase your brand’s specifics and the products that go with it. Creating such a store is very easy and offers some advantages.
Trademarks registered via the Brand Registry can take advantage of another advertising opportunity – Sponsored Brand Ads, formerly known as Headline Search Ads, advertisements show three similar articles of a brand based on a search query. These are placed well visible above the search results. The following figure shows a Sponsored Brand Ad:
Amazon Trademark Registration Guide
Next, you’ll learn how the trademark registration process works and what you need to keep in mind.
Step 1: Check Requirements
First, check that you meet the above requirements for registering your own Amazon trademark. In this way, you can avoid going through the process for nothing. In addition, the following information should be available:
- The protected brand name
- The associated state trademark registration number
- If image-based, a high-resolution image of the mark
- The product categories in which the brand is to be listed
- The countries in which the branded products are manufactured and distributed
Step 2 : Register / Login
Go to the Amazon Brand Registry page and login there with your Seller- or Vendor-Central credentials. If you don’t have an Amazon account yet, you need to create one first. After you are logged in, the following screen should appear.
During the first registration, the left box is of course still empty. Click on “Register a new trademark” to start the registration process.
Step 3 : Trademark information
First, information about the brand is queried, as the following illustration on the next page shows:
As already mentioned, products and packaging must bear the brand name or logo. If “No” is selected, a corresponding message appears. If more than 10 trademarks are to be registered, you will be informed that after the first registration you will receive information by e-mail about a collective registration of the remaining trademarks. Afterwards, the trademark name to be registered must be entered.
Step 4: Intellectual Property
The next step is intellectual property. There you have to indicate whether it is a word mark or a word/picture mark. Pure figurative marks are not suitable for registration. The trademark name is automatically taken from the previous form.
In addition, the trademark number and the responsible trademark office must be indicated. If it is a word/picture mark, a high-resolution image of the mark must be uploaded.
Step 5: Characteristics
Here some characteristics of the mark are queried. First, Amazon wants to know whether the products have an ISBN, EAN, UPC or other GTIN. If “No” is selected, the following message will appear: “If you sell on Amazon and do not have a GTIN for your products, you must apply for GTIN exemption unless your products fall into a category for which no GTINs are required.
This does not affect a trademark registration application, but it does affect the ability to offer products as sellers.” If “yes” is selected, one or more categories must be specified in which the brand’s products are to be sold.
Optionally, other online platforms on which the brand is sold can be specified for identification purposes. If there is a vendor or seller relationship between the brand and Amazon, the corresponding e-mail address can be specified. If both are available, both e-mail addresses.
If your brand also manufactures the products, an additional question appears as to whether your brand licenses trademarks to third parties who make products associated with your intellectual property. If you answer “yes” here, you will be asked whether your licensees sell at Amazon.
Finally, you need to specify in which countries or regions the brand’s products are manufactured and where they are distributed. The application can then be submitted for registration.
Step 6: Verification
Amazon will then contact you or the contact responsible for the brand to verify the contact. Once this is done, the person will receive a verification code that must be returned to Amazon to complete the registration.
Note: Once you have registered, you can apply for additional proxies for the trademark, if you wish. In addition, registration should be repeated if a trademark meets the requirements and was already registered before April 30, 2017.
Ultimately, the process of trademark registration at Amazon is neither difficult nor particularly time-consuming. In return, it offers a number of advantages that brand owners can benefit from. Control over your brand’s products can be significantly increased, trademark infringement can be more easily tracked and reported, and additional content and advertising opportunities improve the visibility of your brand on Amazon. Therefore, if Amazon offers trademark registration, the only advice is to do it and take advantage of it.