Selling your products online and on Amazon greatly expands your potential customer base. It also increases your risk of counterfeiters and knock offs. Having a trademark and enrolling in the Amazon Brand Registry can be a huge step toward protecting your brand on the Amazon platform.
Amazon has stopped 2.5 million bad accounts from publishing questionable listings and blocked 6 million suspicious listings. The brands that are registered in the Amazon Brand Registry enjoy this protection and a 99% reduction in suspected infringements after joining. There’s a dedicated team of investigators that work 24 hours a day and seven days a week to stop potential infringers.
If you sell on Amazon, joining the registry is a smart way to protect your online business. However, you cannot enroll in the Amazon Brand Registry without a trademark. Having a trademark does more than enable you to register with Amazon. It also lets you protect your brand and company goodwill from those who would seek to profit from it without your permission.
Amazon Brand Registry Trademark Guidelines
To be eligible to enroll in the Amazon Registry, you must have an active text or image-based trademark. It also needs to be registered in the country where you want to register and be one of the accepted countries.
Only the brand owner can enroll a trademark. An authorized agent must have the owner enroll the brand first and then add the authorized user as an additional user.
Your registered trademark must appear on your product or its packaging. You’ll need to have your trademark registration number that you were provided when you registered your trademark. Finally, you’ll need to indicate to Amazon what product categories you intend to sell under your brand.
Can I Sell On Amazon Without Joining the Brand Registry?
Yes, you can sell on Amazon without joining the brand registry. However, it does come with a few risks. The most common is having your listings hijacked by the competition selling counterfeit or knock-off products.
Another common problem is low-cost manufacturers selling a similar product at a reduced price. These two issues can result in category saturation. The only way to compete is with dramatic price drops to remain competitive.
Amazon Brand Registry Cost
Registering for the Amazon Brand Registry doesn’t require payment. However, you do need a trademark, and this will require you to pay costs. Trademark registration fees can vary in cost, depending on the class of protection that you’re securing. Expect to pay $250 to $400 in filing fees to obtain your trademark.
You can only file one mark per application. If you have multiple marks, you’ll need to file an application for each one. For example, Nike would need to file an application for the company name “Nike”, one for its swoosh symbol, and a third for its slogan “just do it”.
The fee is also charged per class. So an application can be for a single trademark that represents multiple categories of goods. However, you’ll pay the filing fee for each class. There are also additional fees if your initial filing application isn’t complete and ready for review.
How To Get A Trademark For Amazon Brand Registry
Your trademark protects your brand, which is the identifying mark that lets customers know where a particular product comes from. The first step to applying for a trademark is to decide on your identifying mark. This should be done with care since not all trademarks are registrable for protection.
Once you’ve chosen your mark, perform a search for similar trademarks. You won’t be able to register yours if someone else has already claimed a similar trademark for related goods or services.
Prepare Your Application
Create an account on the USPTO.gov website, fill out the online application, and pay the processing fee. Check your application status at least every six months to ensure you don’t miss a deadline.
Approval or Denial
When the USPTO approves an application, it gets published in the “Official Gazette and sends you a notice. Anyone who believes that your new trademark infringes on theirs has 30 days to object.
The reviewing USPTO attorney may choose to deny your application instead of approving it. They can also ask for further clarification and documentation. This will extend the length of time the application process takes.
Applying for a trademark is not a quick process. It takes on average 13 to 18 months to achieve an official trademark registration. It can take even longer, depending on the situation. However, at a minimum, expect registration to take a year. With that being said, there is no time better than today to start the process so you can protect the brand you’ve worked so hard to build on the world’s largest e-commerce platform.
What If My Trademark Is Pending?
If you would like to join the Amazon registry with a pending trademark, it’s by invitation only in the United States and India. To join the pilot program, you need to register your interest by joining the waitlist.
For consideration, you’ll need to have a pending trademark registration in the US or India, an active Amazon Seller Central or Vendor Central account, and not already be enrolled in the Brand Registry with a registered trademark. The Amazon team will review your request and contact you when you can start your Brand Registry application.
Experienced Amazon Intellectual Property Attorneys
The application process for obtaining a trademark is an expensive and lengthy one. It’s highly advisable to hire an experienced attorney to assist you. This will help you avoid many pitfalls that people fall into when they are inexperienced with trademark registration.
Your attorney will perform the necessary searches to prevent you from attempting to register a trademark that infringes on another. They will also assist you with preparing your application so that it’s complete, avoiding additional fees. Finally, they can represent you should you need to appeal a denial or defend a claim of infringement.
After you have your trademark, your attorney can assist with defending your trademark protection and ensuring you retain your trademark through timely renewals.
Become Eligible for The Amazon Brand Registry
If you’re ready to start selling on Amazon, you can do so without needing to enroll in the Amazon Brand Registry. Registering a trademark enables you to register with the Amazon Registry and provides you with an extra layer of protection. Schedule a free consultation today and let our team of experienced lawyers help you register your trademark.