Protecting your brand can be one of the most stressful things about selling private label products on Amazon.
It’s too easy for competitors or bad actors to sell cheap counterfeits, and cause damage to your brand’s name and image.
As Amazon has evolved, they’ve taken steps to protect brand owners in their marketplace. Most notably, their Brand Registry program.
Brand Registry gives sellers on the Amazon marketplace a way to protect their intellectual property, as well as providing access to a number of tools to better showcase your brand.
If you’re serious about building a brand, enrolling in the program is a must.
In this post, we’ll break down everything you need to know about using Amazon Brand Registry to protect your brand.
What is Amazon Brand Registry?
Brand Registry is a system to give brands and manufacturers greater control of their intellectual property, and protection against bad actors and counterfeiters.
As the official page for Brand Registry says:
“Amazon Brand Registry helps you protect your intellectual property and create an accurate and trusted experience for customers on Amazon.”
Brands enrolled in the program have better pull when they believe someone has stepped on their trademark, while benefiting from preventative measures to stop infringements in the first place. Amazon has a 24/7 team that investigates and takes action on alleged infractions.
Not only does Brand Registry work for sellers, it helps Amazon customers too. The system makes it easier for people to shop by a particular brand, and gives them the confidence that when they buy branded products, they are getting the real thing.
According to Amazon, more than 130,000 brands are registered with the program, and more than 95% of notices raised by Brand Registry participants are actioned within 24 hours.
The benefits to the Brand Registry program as laid out by Amazon are:
- Accurate brand representation – giving brand owners control over the use of their brand name on Amazon product listings.
- Search and report tools, such as global search, image search and bulk ASIN search, to find potential infringements easier and faster.
- Proactive brand protections – Amazon proactively blocks listings that appear to be an infringement on brands’ IP.
- Brand building benefits – access to tools like Enhanced Brand Content, Stores, Sponsored Brand Ads and the Brand Dashboard. These tools help brands promote themselves more effectively on Amazon.
- 24/7 Brand Registry support.
The additional tools Brand Registry participants are given access to, like Enhanced Brand Content and Storefront Pages, are especially powerful at helping you grow your sales on Amazon.
On the other hand, preventative measures against counterfeiters give a layer of protection against a lot of bad actors you may come across in the third-party marketplace.
Brand Registry doesn’t gate your brand and your product listings, however. People can still sell on your listing, though they can’t change anything on the listing.
If you want to get your brand gated, you’ll need to apply for this separately.
Brand Registry Eligibility & Requirements
To enroll in Brand Registry, you need to have an active and registered trademark in the country you are selling in. You’ll also need an Amazon Seller Central or Vendor Central account.
The trademark must be in the form of a text-based mark or an image-based mark with words, letters, or numbers.
Trademarks have to be officially issued by government trademark offices, in the United States, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia, India, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, the European Union, or the United Arab Emirates.
You’ll also need to be able to verify that you are the owner or authorized agent of the trademark.
Brand Registry 2.0
Note that Amazon launched Brand Registry 2.0 in May 2017. This came with stronger protections and features, but tougher requirements (notably, a government-issued trademark). Anyone who had signed up for the original program prior to this date needs to re-apply for Brand Registry 2.0.
Amazon Brand Registry Cost
It’s free to enroll in the program. The only costs are those incurred getting your trademark. Fees involved with getting a trademark registered usually come to around $225-$400, but can be higher for more powerful legal protection.
What is the Amazon IP Accelerator?
The most time-consuming part about enrolling in Brand Registry is getting your trademark. There are many legal hoops to jump through, and that’s assuming you find the right law firm right away.
Luckily, Amazon has an initiative to make it easier for sellers to obtain a registered trademark for their intellectual property, and thus be able to join Brand Registry.
The Amazon IP Accelerator connects brands with legal firms who specialize in IP trademarks, and helps guide these brands along the process.
The IP Accelerator is available worldwide (although only connects businesses with US-based law firms), and there is no additional fee to use it (outside of the cost of dealing with the law firm itself).
Amazon Transparency Program
A newer initiative from Amazon, Transparency is another level of protection against counterfeit products on Amazon.
It provides item-level authentication, ensuring Amazon only ever ships authentic products to their customers.
After enrolling in the Transparency program, you’ll get “Transparency” codes to put on your products. These verify the product is legitimate and not counterfeit. Codes are scanned at Amazon’s fulfillment cent
How to Sign Up
You can enroll in Brand Registry here https://brandservices.amazon.com
From here, you’ll need to provide some information to Amazon.
- Your brand name (which must have an active, registered trademark)
- The government-registered trademark number
- A list of product categories that apply to your brand
- A list of countries where your brand’s products are manufactured and distributed.
Amazon will need to verify your information with a contact associated with the given trademark. The time it takes for verification to complete can vary, from within 24 hours, to several weeks.
If you’re selling Private Label on Amazon, it’s strongly recommended that you register your brand with the program. As long as you have a trademark for your brand, the process is easy, and the benefits significant.
The longest part of the process is getting your trademark – this process can take a number of months. So if you don’t have a trademark yet, start this process ASAP. The sooner you have a trademark, the sooner you can enjoy the benefits of Brand Registry.
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