One of the biggest struggles Amazon sellers–especially private label sellers–have is ensuring their product can’t be sold without their authorization on the Amazon marketplace and their brand can’t be ripped off by the Chinese or other sellers looking to make a quick buck. Amazon Intellectual Property Accelerator in the Brand Services category aims to help alleviate some of the struggles in building up those brand protection walls.
The newest program called the Amazon IP Accelerator (some may call it the Amazon brand accelerator) and exists to help expedite the acquisition of “intellectual property (IP) rights and brand protection on Amazon’s stores”. Intellectual Property Accelerator allows businesses (especially small- and medium-sized ones) to connect with legal resources that specialize in IP law and trademarks. Amazon touts the service as allowing businesses to retain these firms at “competitive rates” with the end goal of securing a trademark.
In their blog post, Amazon says they have vetted the law firms that participate in this program. Specifically, they considered the law firm’s “experience, expertise, and customer service”, and the firms have agreed to “pre-negotiated rates for the standard services involved in obtaining a trademark registration.”
The pre-negotiated rates for the trademark services from the participating law firms start at $500 for a “high-level brand search of Trademark Office records for relevant pending applications or registrations,” increase to $1,800 for “a comprehensive brand review including Trademark Office records and unregistered uses,” and $600 + relevant government fees for the filing of a United States trademark application.
Amazon also mentions in their blog post that trademark filings that go through these law firms are likely to be allowed access to Amazon’s brand protection tools much earlier, stating that brands could receive such capabilities months or even years before the trademark registration closes. Once Amazon becomes aware of the trademark application, an invitation to the Brand Registry is emailed to the seller. After completion of enrollment, Amazon will automatically enroll the seller’s account in automated brand protections (Brand Registry), grant access to the Report a Violation tool, and provide access to other brand-building features (like Enhanced Brand Content).
In the event the participating law firm doesn’t notify Amazon, the applicant can contact Amazon directly with the trademark application serial number here.
For anyone that’s ever asked if brand protection and trademarking is worth it, I’d argue it’s a must for anyone that plans on taking private label selling on the Amazon marketplace seriously. Establishing a trademark is not only smart business, but the price paid is offset in multiples by the increased brand protection toolkit (Brand Registry) afforded to sellers and the power one can wield.
At the time of this writing, the IP Accelerator has 11 law firms in the United States of America. It’s not clear if or when this program will branch out to other marketplaces and countries. Out of all the firms that have ratings so far, none have received a rating of fewer than 4.5 stars. You can access the IP Accelerator list of law firms from within Amazon’s Service Provider Network.