Amazon has 1.9 million active sellers on the platform making it a very competitive e-commerce channel. While most sellers are honest and work hard to carve a niche for themselves, some unscrupulous vendors try to get ahead by cheating.
Numerous brands face difficulties marketing their products and building their image and reputation because of intellectual property infringement, whether it is something as ‘harmless’ as borrowing feature descriptions or as dangerous as identity theft. Some criminals also make cheap copies of existing products and try to sell them at a bargain. Such malpractices diminish trust and customer experience, hurting sales and profits for everybody.
Amazon created the Brand Registry Program to protect genuine sellers, increase customer trust and create a safer and more transparent e-commerce platform for everyone.
Read on to learn more about Brand Registry, its benefits and requirements, and why you should register as soon as possible!
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What is Amazon Brand Registry?
Amazon Brand Registry offers a broad range of unique tools to combat intellectual property infringement and shield Amazon shoppers from scam vendors and copycats. It helps you better manage your brand’s product listings so that customers see accurate information. Moreover, it uses automation to proactively remove suspected infringing or inaccurate content. You can also find and report suspected violations using a simple, guided process.
Beyond copyright protection, Amazon Brand Registry offers brand owners an opportunity to augment their presence through sponsored listings and optimized content. You can build your brand and create better customer experiences using several premium features. Brand Registry also provides incentives for new sellers in terms of thousands of dollars in discounts and bonuses.
How does it work?
Amazon Brand Registry has strict criteria and a detailed approval process before it accepts brands into the program. However, once you are accepted into the program, several automated tools on Amazon recognize your products as genuine and authorized. These tools scan the marketplace regularly and automatically remove imitation content. You also get 24/7 access to a global team of investigators who will promptly respond to your copyright-related complaints or concerns.
Additionally, Brand Registry-approved sellers also see the following features in their Seller Central account.
A+ content feature lets you include more images and videos in your product listings. It includes several layout features that can really improve the look and feel of your product page.
Sponsored brands let you include features like logos and custom headlines in your Amazon advertising campaigns. Your ad stands out in the crowd of products so that you get more clicks.
This feature lets you set up a free multi-page store to promote your brand and products.
Amazon Brand Analytics
Brand analytics gives you deeper insight into customer behavior, including search terms and data reports. You can use this alongside Semrush’s Traffic Insights for Amazon. Its reports are more personalized and comprehensive so that you can examine external traffic channels, dissect competitor strategies and make smarter, faster business decisions.
The main benefits of Amazon Brand Registry
Over 500,000 businesses are protected with the Brand Registry program, all of which are privy to a plethora of benefits unique to registered companies, stores, and vendors.
Infringement protection benefits
- Proprietary text & image search that accurately lists copycat and hijacker listings
- Reporting tools working in synergy with Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit
- Automated protection relies on provided information to actively remove suspected inaccurate and infringing content
Brand building features
- Optimized content drives improved sales and augmented traffic
- Increased brand name awareness in sponsored listings
- Free multi-page store for better promotion
- Brand Analytics provides access to customer behavior reports and searched keywords
- Incentives for new sellers to provide up to roughly $50,000 in discounts or bonuses
Amazon Brand Registry requirements
Brands with a registered and active trademark within countries they want to enroll in are eligible to approach Amazon’s Brand Registry enrollment. Alternatively, brands with pending trademarks filed via Amazon’s IP Accelerator – a program designed to help businesses obtain IP rights more quickly – can enroll in the Brand Registry program.
Trademarks issued by government offices in the US, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Japan, France, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Netherlands, UK, Egypt, Poland, EU, UAE, Canada, India, Germany, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia are currently the only ones that are accepted. Businesses with a trademark registered with WIPO or EUIPO can also submit that instead of the country-based government-issued trademark.
Country-specific Amazon Brand Registry requirements are listed on Amazon’s Brand Services website under ‘Eligibility’ in the FAQ section.
What is a trademark number?
Trademark numbers are numbers assigned to pending and/or registered trademarks. Most countries have a government trademark office for patents, such as United States Patents and Trademark Office(USPTO) for the US, for example, or the German Patent and Trade Mark Office in Germany. Each office assigns a unique registration number to registered trademarks. Different offices have different practices, although the trademark number is typically between seven and eight digits long. Pending trademarks differ from registered ones and are assigned serial numbers instead of registration numbers.
Trademarks are used to protect patented property from IP infringement and by customers to inquire about trademark products. Consumers can freely research basic information regarding registered or pending trademarks within databases of Patent & Trademark offices that issued them. Before submitting a trademark application, individuals who wish to protect the intellectual rights of their product or service are usually advised to scan relevant databases to see if anyone else may have claimed that trademark.
What can you do with a trademark?
Every trademark can have multiple purposes, but it always boils down to the owner's intended use. For example, Trademarks can be used to:
- Reinforce brand recall
- Separate one’s product from similar ones
- Copyright the trademark itself
Your Amazon brand name can be trademarked as well, which is shortly referred to as ‘trade name’.
Can I have more than one trademark?
Generally, a single trademark corresponds to a single application. This essentially means that a single person can have as many trademarks as they want, as long as they submit a different application for each one.
Can multiple people/entities own one trademark?
On the other hand, there are exceptions from the rule of ‘one person, one trademark per application’ via joint ownership and, consequentially, joint trademark application. Some examples of joint trademark ownership include:
- Music band members usually have joint ownership on both songs and the band’s name
- Multiple friends forming a partnership have equal rights on the company’s trademarks
- Multiple companies with different specializations within the same niche can decide to broaden their reach by filing a joint trademark ownership application
You can learn more about the US Trademark application process here.
Why do you need a trademark for Amazon Brand Registry?
As one of the main requirements for enrollment to the Brand Registry program, all brands need a trademark, whether active or pending. Aside from Amazon programs, brands conducting business on online marketplaces would be wise to protect their products with trademarks, as it significantly increases their chances of winning against copycats and IP hijackers in court.
A brand without trademarked products can potentially disrupt the stability of the Amazon market. Without trademarked products, anyone could claim that they own any particular product, use whichever text or image to describe it, and charge whichever sum they see fit. On the other hand, scam vendors often feel intimidated to attempt to steal intellectual property (product text descriptions or images) protected by a trademark.
Furthermore, trademarked products typically instill more confidence in buyers, who can find all relevant information about the person or company they are buying products from. Another important element of the trademark lies in the accountability of its owner. All trademarked products, the Amazon brand name, and the owner’s name can be cross verified as genuine with the trademark office.
How to apply for Brand Registry?
Only trademark owners are eligible to apply to Amazon Brand Registry. Obviously, authorized agents can do so in their stead, but to do so, the agent needs to be enrolled by the owner of the trademark.
Login to seller account
The first step on the Brand Registry program application is to sign in with existing Seller/Vendor credentials (basic Amazon account). Brand owners that still don’t have one can create a free Amazon Seller account.
Submit trademark details
The second step revolves around the enrollment process. Brand owners need to provide the brand name with the registered trademark. Brand owners with pending trademarks can still enroll if they meet all other country-specific eligibilities. Additional required information is the number (registration or serial) assigned by IPO of selected states and a list of categories in which products will be listed (if eligible).
Use your trademark
Upon providing this information, all brand owners will be obliged to use this trademark on their products and packaging actively.
What Happens After the Application Is Sent?
Amazon will either verify or decline the validity of provided information, meaning that they will either confirm and recognize you as the owner of IP rights of a related trademark or deny the application. Upon successful verification, Amazon’s team will send you a personal verification code that you need to send back to complete the Amazon Brand Registry process.
Brand Registry support
Amazon offers round-the-clock support to its registered brands, and there are several different ways to connect with their team. Depending on the issue, you can contact them to report:
- IP violation/infringement
- Marketplace violations
- Duplicate listing issues
You can also contact their team to update your profile & permissions and for technical support via the Case Management feature. In addition to your information, you will need to provide emails of the users you wish to authorize in your team.
Similarly, all brands in Brand Registry have access to tools that can be used to report any kind of violation; you only need to select the nature of the breach (infringement) and provide details regarding that particular case.
How to find Amazon Brand Registry
Amazon’s Brand Registry is a sub-section of Amazon’s official website and looks different for every user. Registered brand owners can access it by logging in to their Amazon account with administrator email credentials – this is only important for brand owners that give user permissions to other team members. The Registry is also accessible via the Enrollment page; brand owners who have completed the process will see their registered brands from here.
Amazon Brand Registry is an eclectic suite of Amazon programs that offers a set of beneficial benefits. Aside from protecting your business from IP infringement, you also get a launchpad to elevate your brand to the next level. Better brand and product listings, more credibility, and absolute security from bad actors are just some of the reasons why brands enrolled in the program saw a massive boost to their listing traffic, sales, and generated revenue.
If you are not ready for Brand Registry just yet, you can always consider using the Listing Alerts App to get 24/7 live monitoring for your brand. This tool lets all sellers, irrespective of Brand Registry Status, set up email or SMS notifications for real-time alerts if you lose control over your listing.
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Learn more about Amazon Listing protection - best practices and strategies by reading our Amazon brand protection guide. We include several tips on how to avoid duplicate listings, hijackers and other brand protection challenges!