For any online seller or vendor that has a brand it wants to protect, the Amazon Brand Registry (the “Registry”) offers tremendous value.  When the Registry first started, you were required to have a “standard character” trademark registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) in order to join the Registry.  “Standard character” mark means text only, no design or logo.  The Registry now allows registration for design marks or logos.  In addition, you can now join the Registry prior to having obtained the registration with the USPTO by simply having filed an application.  Trademark registration is taking longer than ever now due to a backlog in the USPTO, and can take up to 12 to 18 months to obtain.  Now with just a pending application, you can join the Registry.

These updates are important (1) because many brand owners are unable to obtain registered trademarks for “standard character” marks if, for instance, their mark is descriptive of the services or goods they provide, and (2) because of the length of time it takes to obtain a registration.  Descriptive names are not protectable.  The brand’s logo, however, may be protectable and the brand owner could obtain registration of its logo, if not its name.

For those brand owners who have registered their logos, or who have pending applications for trademarks for their logo or name, and sell online through Amazon, the registered and applied for trademarks have become more valuable with the Registry.  If you sell online and do not have a registered trademark, you now have more reason to file an application with the USPTO and obtain a registered standard character and/or design mark.

Amazon’s online marketplace gives registrants additional tools and benefits, which may include increased sales and, most importantly, it will allow registrants to “take down” any infringing listings more efficiently.

As stated on the website –

“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.”

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