Protecting against knockoffs on Amazon can be a problem for ecommerce merchants. Thankfully, Amazon recently instituted its Brand Registry program, which is intended to protect the brands of marketplace sellers from counterfeiting. It also protects against consumer confusion by securing sellers’ brands, including in Amazon search results.
The new Amazon Brand Registry addresses a common problem. Prior to this program, sellers could source counterfeit or similar-looking goods and sell those goods by piggybacking on a brand’s Amazon listing. When consumers would purchase products from Amazon, they would sometimes receive the counterfeit or similar-looking goods instead of the originals. Consumers may not even know that the goods are counterfeit until they attempt to make a warranty claim. This type of deception can harm the goodwill that legitimate brands have spent large sums of money creating.
Before the Brand Registry, a seller could create a brand on Amazon relatively easy. It had only to prove that it held the domain name for that brand, that its project packaging contained the brand name, and that the product itself displayed the brand name.
The new Brand Registry program, however, is more rigorous. It is open only to those sellers that hold a registered trademark for their brand.
Sellers can obtain a registered trademark by filing an application for registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Beyond just participation in the Amazon Brand Registry, registered trademarks provide…