The Amazon Brand Registry is a huge development for Amazon sellers because it’s a major step toward protecting brands and preventing fraud. But, not every seller is eligible for the Brand Registry because you have to have an Amazon trademark before you can reap the protections of this program. Fortunately, getting a trademark does more for you than just protecting your online business. It also provides you with protection no matter what platform you sell on. Here are other Brand Registry guidelines you need to know.
Trademarks for Every Country
Your U.S. Brand Registry trademark is valid only in the United States, so if you do business in other countries, you’ll need to obtain trademarks in those countries as well. The process is different for every country and can take between seven and eight months to complete for each application. You aren’t protected during the time you’re waiting for a trademark to come through, although you can let potential brand thieves that you’ve filed for a trademark to hopefully thwart their efforts.
Trademarks for Every Mark
Every image-based or text-based mark must be registered separately under the Amazon Brand Registry trademark rules. This means that if you have an image-based mark that is a visual representation of your brand (a logo, for instance) and a text-based mark that is a slogan or other phrase associated with your brand, you will need a separate trademark for each one. You’ll also have to register each mark separately with the Brand Registry for them to receive protection.
Selling Without Registering
You don’t have to register your brand with the Amazon Brand Registry to sell on Amazon, but it is highly recommended. There are listings hijackers who will steal your listings to sell their counterfeit or knock-off items. And without the protections of the Amazon Brand Registry, there’s not much you can do about it. Trademarking your brand allows you to file complaints against any other party using your brand to sell their products.
Another risk is that other sellers can sell low-cost items that are very similar to yours, which not only results in category saturation, but it also makes it extremely difficult to compete without dropping your prices as well. When you’ve trademarked your brand, however, you are the only one who can sell under that brand. The low-cost sellers can’t use your brand and have to disclose that they are not the same products. If they try to sell anyway, Amazon can shut them down.
Cost of Registering
Amazon trademark registration does not cost sellers anything, but there is a charge to get your brand trademarked through the US Patent and Trademark Office. That cost is between $250 and $400 per mark and per class of products. For example, if you want to trademark your brand in both clothing and toys, you’ll have to pay twice the fees to get that done.
There are very few drawbacks to trademarking your brand, especially if you’re selling on Amazon. Just be sure to do it before someone else does or else you won’t be able to trademark your own brand and could be prevented from selling on Amazon under that brand.