• Amazon Brand Registry (update)

    By ZonSupport | Posted on May 11, 2017| Blog

    Updated Brand Registry process finally announced.

    Here’s an update on this so have removed earlier post. We always update blogs when things change so you only ever get up to date and relevant info from us!

    It should come as no surprise that Amazon now require you to have trademarked your brand for them to effectively police their brand registry program.

    Ouch!

    That’s more money AND a lot of time as you get your Amazon business up and running. Expect the process to take closer to a year than 6 months!

    If your trademark has actually been granted in the US go here:   https://brandregistry.amazon.com

    If not….read on….

    If you want to sell in the US, go here to start the trademark process: https://www.uspto.gov/

    If you want to sell in the UK, (yes, separate jurisdiction!) : https://www.gov.uk/how-to-register-a-trade-mark

    If you want to sell in the EU (protects 28 member countries): https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/en/home

    Yes, you can do it all yourself if you have the confidence, time and patience.

    However, I suggest you get professional advise. We continue to search for attorney’s we can recommend…will update this blog as and when we find the right one.

    I have seen fees from $ 500 to $5,000 plus registration fees so make sure you do plenty of due diligence before you make your decision. Remember, the most expensive is not always the best – you need to find the right “fit” for you.

    Try and find someone with online or Amazon experience. Buried in the fine print are the so called “mark’s” that Amazon will recognise. Your new trademark must be aligned with Amazon’s requirements or they will decline your Brand Registry application. 

    So let’s step back on this.

    Do you really need a trademark?

    Yes, for the long term you need to work towards a trademark IF your intention is to build a brand that over time you can actually on sell. A trademark is an investment that you might realize at a future time or may just prove to be the rock you need to protect yourself if someone tries to copy your product.

    However, should this slow your Amazon aspirations? Absolutely not!

    It is one of those things to be aware of. There is an interesting argument that if a mark is in common use even if not actually registered, then it can stop other’s registering it. So, I set up a brand website, add in lots of product details and link it to my Amazon storefront so I have a brand and commercial (sales) entity. For me, that is OK as a first line of defence.

    You thus have two considerations:

    1. Trademark for the future value of your business

    2. Brand Registry with Amazon to head off copy cats (or maybe even Amazon themselves!)

    Don’t over think this. Add it to your list and when your product(s) have got over that initial zero sales hump and you are generating solid organic sales then that for me is the time to bite this particular bullet.

    The reason I follow this strategy is that a trademark is awarded in a particular category. I am in the process of saying goodbye to a product I love but no one else seems to ie low sales. So, if I had trademarked this in it’s category then I would really be very unhappy as I have no intention of going back into this category with another product.

    I want to be sure I have a winning product before I invest in a trademark IF it is the only product in a particular trademark category that I am persuing. If you have multiple products under the brand and some are already winners then it becomes an easier decision.

    So, with this in mind, a further consideration for you is that your new trademark needs to have as wide an appeal as possible.

    Look at famous brands who over time have broadened their appeal. Avoid calling it xxx kitchen or xxx automotive for example as these restrict you instantly to a niche you may later want to broaden. You just want a name/word that you can actually trademark and can add a tag line later if you so wish.

    Other’s may have a totally different view to me.

    I strongly suggest you do your own research on this so you can make a well informed decision that fits your business intentions and risk profile. Like many things in life, there is no absolute right way or wrong way to make this decision.

    Only you can make the final decision and ultimately it is you who must take responsibility for it!

    As always, ask us anything. If we don’t know we’ll know someone who does!

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