Building a Brand on Amazon and the Importance of IP

Building a Brand on Amazon.com and the Importance of Intellectual Property to Expand Your Business to the US

Wondering how to build a brand on Amazon.com and the importance of intellectual property?
Continue reading this FAQ page where we educate you on building a brand and answer your frequently asked questions on intellectual property.

1. What are the benefits of owning your own brand on Amazon.com?

Some advantages to owning your own brand are:
- Intellectual Property (IP) ownership such as trademarks, patents and copyrights.
- Actual monetary value as a brand is an asset.
- Unlock a suite of brand-exclusive benefits with enrollment in Amazon Brand Registry.
Amazon is one of the easiest ways to break into the US market and if you really want to leverage Amazon, you will want to get your Amazon brand registered and enroll in Amazon Brand Registry.
Jason TayAmazon Global Selling 7-Figure Seller

2. What are the advantages of enrolling in Amazon Brand Registry and building my own brand on Amazon.com?

As a brand owner selling on Amazon, registering your brand with Amazon Brand Registry can help you protect intellectual property, manage your listings, and grow your business. The benefits of owning your brand are:
- Use advanced brand building tools like A+ Content, Sponsored Brands, Amazon Stores, and Brand Analytics to build and grow your brand.
- Use advanced programs like Report a Violation tool and Project Zero to protect your brand.

By enrolling in Amazon Brand Registry, you are one step closer to being eligible and accelerating your e-commerce business with New Seller Incentives (NSI).

3. How do I enroll in Amazon Brand Registry?

Get started in three easy steps:
Step 1
Review eligibility requirements e.g., brands must have a pending or registered and active text-based or image-based trademark.
Step 2
Amazon may request that you provide documentation such as invoices showing the authenticity of your products or authorization to list them for sale. Invoices helps to substantiate that you have purchased products from a valid supplier.
Step 3
Enroll your brand by providing the following information:
- Your brand name that has an active registered or pending trademark; the trademark for your brand must appear on your products or packaging and you must provide images that depict this.
- The trademark registration number provided by the Intellectual Property office. Application number provided by the Intellectual Property office can only be provided if you are enrolling with a trademark pending registration.
- A list of product categories (e.g., apparel, sporting goods, electronics) in which your brand should be listed.

Review eligibility requirements and follow our step-by-step guide here.

Interested to learn more?

4. What can I expect after I have submitted the required information to enroll in Amazon Brand Registry?

After you submit the required information, we will verify that you are the Rights Owner of the trademark and reach out to a contact that meets our requirements. This person will receive a verification code. You will need to send this code back to Amazon to complete the enrollment process.

Once we have verified the provided information, you will get access to the full suite of Amazon Brand Registry’s benefits and features that help you protect your brand.
Sponsored brand ads, sponsored display ads, sponsored video ads are generally very good for new brand customers. My sponsored video ads, for example, bring in about 98 to 100% new to brand customers. If you are not brand registered, your sales are going to be relatively slow with low conversion rate. Hence, by investing in brand registry and then making use of the benefits, the ROI might be way better compared to trying to save on a trademark registration
Jason TayAmazon Global Selling 7-Figure Seller

5. What is intellectual property and how does it affect my brand on Amazon?

Intellectual property is made up of the following:
- Copyrights: legal protections for original works of authorship.
- Trademarks: legal protections for a word, symbol, design, or combination of the same that a company uses to identify goods and services.
- Patents are legal protections for inventions.

Amazon does not allow listings that violate the intellectual property rights of rights owners. For detailed information, please review Amazon’s Intellectual Property (IP) policy.

6. I am starting to register for my brand and see that there are different stages when applying for a trademark e.g., pending and approved stage. Are there any differences between these two stages in terms of access rights to brand tools?

Even with a pending trademark, once you have successfully entered the Amazon Brand Registry program, you will be able to access all the brand building features and tools. However, the “Report a violation” tool will not be accessible until your trademark has been approved.

It is highly recommended that you apply for Amazon Brand Registry, even if your trademark is still pending. This way, you can improve your listing and use the other available features to make it more attractive.

7. What is a trademark and what can it do for my brand?

A trademark is a word, symbol or design, or a combination of the same (such as a brand name or logo) that a company uses to identify its goods or services and to distinguish them from other companies’ goods and services. Put another way, a trademark indicates the source of goods or services.

Generally, trademark law protects sellers of goods and services from customer confusion about who provides, endorses, or is affiliated with particular goods or services. A trademark owner might be able to stop others from using a particular mark, or a confusingly similar mark, if using the mark is likely to cause a customer to be confused about whether the product being sold is the trademark owner’s product.

8. How can a trademark owner protect a trademark?

A trademark owner usually protects a trademark by registering it with a country-specific trademark office (such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office). In some cases, a person or company might have trademark rights based on only the use of a mark in commerce, even though the mark was never registered with a country-specific trademark office. Those rights are known as “common law” trademark rights and can be more limited.

9. Do I always need the rights owner’s permission to use a trademark in the creation of a product detail page on Amazon.com?

You should consider the use of someone else’s trademark carefully. Usually, the unauthorized use of a trademark in the creation of a detail page is infringing if it is likely to cause confusion as to the source, endorsement, or affiliation of the goods. However, just because you are not the owner of a trademark does not necessarily mean that you cannot sell another company’s product. Nonetheless, it is important that you clearly distinguish between yourself — the seller, and the trademark owner — the source of the product.

10. What is a copyright and how do I gain copyright protection?

A copyright is a type of intellectual property (IP) that protects original works of authorship such as videos, movies, songs, books, musicals, video games, paintings, etc. Generally, copyright law is meant to incentivize the creation of original works of authorship for the benefit of the public. To receive copyright protection, a work of authorship must be created by an author, and must have some amount of creativity. If you are the author of an original work, then you typically own the copyright in that work.

If you are confused as to whether you own the copyright for one or more of the images or videos on your Amazon.com product detail page,
- You generally own the copyright of the photo you took or the video you filmed for your product.
- You generally do not own the copyright of photos or videos you found on someone else’s website, and you must not upload such content to a product detail page without the copyright holder’s permission.

To ensure that you are not violating someone’s copyrights, make sure to upload only images, videos or text that you have created yourself or for which you have the copyright holder’s permission to upload.

11. Am I allowed to upload or sell someone else’s copyrighted work on Amazon?

You may be able to upload or sell someone else’s copyrighted work on Amazon if you have received permission from the copyright owner or if your use is protected by the “first sale” doctrine. The first sale doctrine generally permits the resale of a genuine, lawfully purchased physical item (such as a book or CD) without permission from the copyright owner.

For example: If you decide to sell a used copy of someone else’s book on Amazon, you are selling someone else’s copyrighted work. You are usually allowed to sell your particular copy of the book without further permission from the copyright owner because the first sale doctrine protects the resale of genuine, lawfully purchased items.

12. What is a patent and are there different types of patents?

A patent is a type of intellectual property (IP) that protects inventions. An issued patent grants its owner the right to exclude others from making, using, offering to sell, selling, or importing the invention into the United States for a fixed number of years.

There are two principal types of patents in the United States: Utility patents and Design patents.

Utility patents, the most common kind of patent, may be granted for a new machine, articles of manufacture, composition of matter, process, or improvement to any of those, and generally protect the structure and functions of a product rather than how it looks. Design patents, on the other hand, may be granted for the unique look of a product, but do not cover the structure or functions of a product.

13. When selling on Amazon, how can I make sure that I do not violate someone’s patent?

The manufacturer or distributor of a product might be able to assist you with patent-related issues. If you are unsure whether your content or product violates someone else’s patent, you should consult a lawyer before listing on Amazon.

14. How do I respond to an intellectual property infringement notice on Amazon.com?

There are several scenarios:

1) If you receive a notice or warning for infringement and you believe the rights owner or Amazon made an error, you may appeal or dispute the claim.
2) If you have received multiple warnings of IP infringement and you believe you are selling non-infringing products, you may submit an appeal via Seller Central with the required information.
3) If your account has been suspended because of notices of IP infringement against your products or content, you can provide us with a viable Plan of Action.
Sellers are expected to follow the law and Amazon takes claims of IP infringement seriously. Even if a seller is infringing IP without knowledge, we will still take action and the seller’s account might receive a warning or be suspended. You should consult an attorney for help to ensure that you have the right procedures in place to prevent IP infringement.

For more details on how to submit an appeal or create a Plan of Action, please see here.

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