It’s no news that the free availability of counterfeit products on online marketplaces is one of the top challenges that brands, consumers and ecommerce companies themselves face today. In fact, a recent investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GOA) in the US found that 43% — or nearly half – of the products bought from online marketplaces were fake. The infringement of intellectual property rights at this scale presents an existential threat to brands and ecommerce companies as it can destroy consumer trust and hurt a brand’s reputation.
The good news is that Amazon recognizes the urgent need to help sellers protect their brands and prevent the sale of counterfeit goods. The Amazon Brand Registry is a concrete step toward doing that.
Amazon Brand Registry is a free service that allows sellers to enrol their brands with Amazon and easily track and resolve copyright infringements. According to Amazon’s website, the registry currently protects more than 130,000 brands and investigates and resolves 95% of infringement complaints within 24 hours.
Amazon Brand Registry is global and contains:
- Brand names
- Brand profile data (e.g., trademarks, logos)
- Accounts that have roles (e.g., Rights Owner, Catalog Contributor) for that brand.
What is a Brand
A brand is a name that represents a product or set of products. Products with the same brand share a common name, logo, or other identifying marks that appear on the product or its packaging and distinguishes those products from similar products that do not belong to that brand. These brands will be stored in Amazon Brand Registry with a unique brand ID. Products without a brand are considered generic and will not be present in the Amazon Brand Registry.
Requirements for a Brand to Enroll in the Brand Registry
According to Amazon’s website, to register your brand, you’ll need:
- A registered trademark for your brand that appears on your products or packaging.
- The ability to verify yourself as the rights owner or the authorized agent for the trademark.
- An Amazon account. You can use an existing Amazon account (credentials associated with Vendor or Seller Central) or create a new one for free.
How to Enroll Your Brand in the Brand Registry
- Create an account
If the user has an existing Vendor or Seller account, they can use their existing credentials and do not need to create new account credentials. If the user needs to create new account credentials, they will need to provide their name, company name, phone number, email address, and create a password.
- Provide Brand data
To associate a brand with an account the rights owners will be needed to provide multiple pieces of data about the brand and your company, including the government-registered trademark registration(s) where Amazon Brand Registry is launched (US, BR, CA, MX, UK, ES, IT, FR, DE, AU JP, IN):
- The brand name that has an active registered trademark; the trademark text must match the brand name on the application.
- The associated government-registered trademark number.
- A list of product categories (e.g., apparel, sporting goods, electronics) in which your brand should be listed.
- A list of countries where your brand’s products are manufactured and distributed.
Amazon will verify the brand profile data as part of the approval process as well as if the applicant is authorized to make decisions on behalf of the brand. As a result of the enrollment process, amazon will:
- Determine whether to enrol the brand
- Create a brand profile based on validated brand characteristics (e.g., intellectual property)
- Assign the account that submitted the application to have a specific role(s) for that brand
Benefits for Sellers Enrolling in Amazon Brand Registry
Amazon Brand Registry enables you to better control how your brand is represented and helps you identify and report copyright infringements so that Amazon can quickly resolve complaints and stay ahead of attempted violations. Brand Registry does this by giving you more autonomy over your brand’s Amazon product pages so that visitors see accurate brand information.
The service also gives sellers access to powerful search and report tools that make it easier to identify and flag copyright infringements. According to their website, the tools include:
- “Global Search: Search for content in different Amazon stores from the same screen without ever having to navigate away
- Image search: Find product listings on Amazon that match your product(s) or logo(s) using images
- Bulk ASIN Search: Search for a list of ASINs or product URLs in bulk to explore and report potentially infringing content fast”
Brand Registry also provides clear workflows to report potential infringements.
In addition, Brand Registry uses information collected from brands to implement predictive protections that aim to zero in on and eliminate potentially bad listings. It uses AI, image recognition, and other deep technology to power text- and image-based search and flag incorrect use of trademarks and logos. The service also alerts Amazon when sellers ship products from locations where the brand does not have a presence or when a product listing is created outside of a brand’s Amazon product catalogue.
Amazon claims that after deploying these tools “99% of all Amazon page views by our customers landed on pages that did not receive a notice of potential infringement.” What’s more, brands enrolled in the registry “report an average of 99% fewer suspected infringements than before the launch of Brand Registry.”
This data suggests that every brand that cares about guarding its turf on Amazon should leverage this free service immediately. Enrolled brands also stand to gain from the new IP protection initiatives and experiments such as Transparency and Project Zero that Amazon is rolling out as we speak.
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