Amazon's Brand Registry Requires Federal Trademark Registration
Another important reason to register your trademark with the United States Patent & Trademark Office is Amazon's Brand Registry. This is a new and improved Registry that was launched in May 2017. This registry will allow Amazon sellers and vendors to more thoroughly protect their intellectual property and to gain more control over their product pages ensuring consumers will see the correct information associated with their brands. Once enrolled in the Registry, you will be able to quickly report any potential infringement, and Amazon will be able to expeditiously respond possibly removing infringing matter that could be harmful to your brand. Amazon has reported a significant decrease in suspected infringements since the launch of the Registry in May.
To be eligible for Amazon's Brand Registry, your brand needs to have an active registered trademark in each country you wish to enroll. In the United States, you must have a standard character mark or a design mark that includes words, letters or numbers. This means a special format mark that only encompasses design features will not qualify for the Registry in the United States. See our webpage entitled, Standard Character Marks (Word Marks) v. Special Format Marks (Design Marks) for more information on the differences between the two types of marks. In addition to the United States, currently at the time of the writing of this web page, Amazon will accept trademarks from the following countries, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Australia, India and the European Union.
It is important to keep in mind that the literal portion of the mark must match the brand name on the application for the Brand Registry. You must provide Amazon with the Trademark Registration Number and the government office that issued the trademark. In addition, you must advise Amazon if you are a seller or a vendor, and if not you will need to provide contact information for an attorney or a notary who will guarantee Amazon that you are a trademark owner. Also, you need to provide Amazon with a list of product categories for your branded goods, and provide a list of countries where your goods are manufactured and distributed.
Once enrolled, you will be able to conduct a global search using search terms, find product listings that match your product or logo, or search for product URLs and investigate whether it is necessary to report infringing content to Amazon. You will be able to report listings that incorrectly use your trademark terms, or listings that use your mark without authorization. It should be noted that brand owners who enrolled in Amazon's Brand Registry prior to April 30, 2017, will need to re-enroll to experience the benefits of the re-launch of the Registry.
If you need to add a mark to Amazon's Brand Registry, you can do so by logging into your account and clicking on the Brand Registry Support Page. The Support Page will prompt you to add additional trademarks by updating your brand profile. You may also use the Support Page to report potential infringement matters. However, you do not have to be a member of the Brand Registry to report infringement matters to Amazon. Amazon provides a form to all consumers for reporting alleged infringment: https://www.amazon.com/report/infringement. But, certainly, there are major advantages of being enrolled in the Brand Registry. For example, it has been reported that Amazon investigates and takes action on 95% of all notices of possible infringement received from brand owners in the Registry within eight hours.
Please feel free to contact my firm for a courtesy consultation, if you want to learn more about the benefits of federal trademark registration. Some benefits include, gaining nationwide exclusive rights to your mark in connection with the goods or services identified in your application, rights to use the ® symbol, increasing the value of your business, deterring third parties from infringing on your mark, relying on your registration to send out persuasive cease and desist letters, gaining "incontestable" trademark rights after five years of continuous use of the mark in commerce, having a basis to claim priority in a foreign trademark application, having evidence in an ICANN proceeding to challenge use of a domain name incorporating your mark or a similarly confusing mark, bringing an action in federal court to enforce your rights, and now gaining additional trademark protections by being able to enroll in Amazon's Brand Registry.