Amazon’s Brand Registry program is instrumental in providing Sellers the ability to secure their brand on Amazon. As consumers continue to shop on Amazon, the number of counterfeit products continues to rise. However, Sellers who have access to the Brand Registry program have access to powerful tools for preventing counterfeit goods. Most notably, access to the Brand Registry program allows Sellers the ability to remove listings that infringe their trademark rights.
However, until recently, access to Amazon’s Brand Registry program was limited to Sellers who had a registered trademark. The registration process takes 6 – 12 months for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to issue a registration. However, the timeline can be extended even longer if there are any issues with the application.
So, What Has Changed?
Recently, Amazon’s Brand Registry webpage was updated, stating that “Brand Registry is also accepting brands that have a trademark pending registration” in the USPTO. In addition to the United States, Amazon is also accepting applications from several foreign countries as well.
How Soon After Submitting My Trademark Application Can I Apply for Brand Registry?
Generally, a new trademark filing typically appears on the USPTO’s online database a couple of days after the application is filed. Moreover, all pending, registered, and abandoned trademarks are searchable on the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). Accordingly, once a Seller’s new application appears on TESS, the Seller can apply for access into the Brand Registry program.
Providing Seller’s access to Amazon’s Brand Registry program with a pending trademark application highlights the importance of securing intellectual property rights early and often. Given these recent changes, new Amazon Sellers can enforce their brand on Amazon from the start.
However, the effectiveness of these changes has yet to be seen. In particular, it is unclear from the recent changes how Amazon intends to prevent fraud in the process. Specifically, how Amazon intends to prevent fraudulent Sellers from filing bogus and/or clearly unregistrable trademark applications to get an edge up. Moreover, it takes 3 – 4 months for the assignment of a trademark examiner to a trademark application. During these 3 – 4 months, it is possible that fraudulent Seller’s could file for generic (or other unregistrable marks) to remove another Seller’s legitimate content.