If you are selling on Amazon, you may experience counterfeit issues or situations where your product content is changed by a third party seller.
Luckily, the Amazon Brand Registry provides a necessary set of tools (including the new Transparency by Amazon service and Project Zero program) that may help sellers avoid these issues.
Here’s how Amazon’s Brand Registry works, how to enroll, and other brand protection programs that you can use to prevent third-party sellers from counterfeiting your products on the marketplace.
What is the Amazon Brand Registry?
The Amazon Brand Registry is an Amazon is a program that allows verified brand owners to have access to enhanced reporting tools and more control over their brand across Amazon.
In May 2017, Amazon launched a new and improved Brand Registry designed to help brand owners protect their registered trademarks and create an accurate and trusted experience for customers by providing access to proprietary text and image search, predictive automations, and reporting tools.
Today, the Amazon Seller Brand Registry unlocks a powerful suite of programs and features for verified brand owners to not only protect intellectual property but also build their brand presence on Amazon and grow their business.
The Benefits of Amazon Brand Registry
According to Amazon, more than 130,000 brands around the world have an Amazon brand registration, and on average, they’re finding and reporting 99% fewer suspected infringements than before the launch of Brand Registry.
The benefits of Amazon Brand Registry provides a variety of benefits according to Amazon’s website, including those listed below:
1. Accurate brand representation
Amazon Seller Brand Registry gives you more control over Amazon product pages that use your brand name, so customers are more likely to see the correct information associated with your brand.
2. Powerful search and report tools
Amazon simplifies the process of finding cases of potential infringement with custom features designed specifically for brands:
- Global search: search for content in different Amazon stores from the same screen without ever having to navigate away
- Image search: find product listings on Amazon that match your product(s) or logo(s) using images
- Bulk ASIN search: search for a list of ASINs or product URLs in bulk to explore and report potentially infringing content fast (plus enlarge image thumbnails in this tool for easier identification of infringers)
- Sort view of average customer ratings of ASINs to gauge popularity
After you complete your search, the Brand Registry provides you with simple and guided workflows to submit a report of potential infringement that Amazon can review and take appropriate action on.
3. Additional proactive brand protections
In addition to Amazon’s standard proactive measures to protect customers, the Brand Registry uses information that you provide about your brand to implement additional predictive protections that attempt to identify and remove potentially bad listings.
The more you tell Amazon’s Brand Registry team about your brand and its intellectual property, the more Amazon can help you protect your brand, for example:
- Product listings that aren’t for your brand and incorrectly use your trademarked terms in their titles.
- Images that contain your logo, but are for products that don’t carry your brand name.
- Sellers shipping products from countries in which you do not manufacture or distribute your brand.
- Product listings being created with your brand name when you have already listed your full product catalog on Amazon
4. Brand-building benefits
Build and grow your business on Amazon by taking advantage of tools like Enhanced Brand Content, Stores, Sponsored Brands, and the Brand Dashboard.
Amazon Brand Registry Costs
As of now, there are no Amazon Brand Registry costs. However, you will need to have a registered trademark in order to qualify for a Brand Registry application.
Registered trademark fees typically range from $225 to $400. However, these fees can vary depending on the class of protection you want to buy.
Amazon Brand Registry: Eligibility & Application
To see if you meet the eligibility requirements of Amazon brand registry application, visit brandservices.amazon.com/eligibility.
Step 1: Review eligibility requirements
To be eligible for an Amazon Brand Registry application, your brand must have an active registered trademark in each country where you wish to enroll.
The trademark for your brand must be in the form of a text-based mark or an image-based mark with words, letters, or numbers. Depending on where your trademark is registered, eligible trademarks can have different classifications based on their issuing trademark office.
Below are examples of trademarks that Amazon is currently accepting for enrollment:
Pro-Tip: Amazon currently only accepts trademarks that have been issued by government trademark offices in the United States, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia, India, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates..
Here are all of Amazon’s requirements to enroll:
Step 2: Sign into Amazon Brand Registry
If you meet the eligibility requirements, the next step is to sign into Amazon Seller Brand Registry. If you are a Vendor or Seller on Amazon, use your Vendor or Seller Central credentials to sign in.
Using the same username and password will enable you to access the features and benefits of Amazon Brand Registry that are linked to Vendor and Seller services. If you don’t yet have an Amazon account, you can create one for free here.
Step 3: Enroll your brand
To qualify for an Amazon Brand registration, you will need to provide the following information:
- Your brand name that has an active registered trademark.
- The associated government-registered trademark number.
- A list of product categories (e.g., apparel, sporting goods, electronics) in which your brand should be listed.
- A list of countries where your brand’s products are manufactured and distributed.
What is Transparency by Amazon?
Amazon also publicly launched Transparency, an item-level authentication service that helps brands proactively identify and prevent counterfeits from reaching customers. As of 2019, Transparency was available in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and India.
According to Amazon:
Transparency enables brands to assign a secure, unique, alphanumeric code to every product unit that a brand manufactures. The information is then used to authenticate the products. Amazon looks for and scans these codes within its fulfillment centers to ensure that only authentic products are shipped out to customers.
How to enroll in the Transparency Program
To enroll in Transparency, you will need:
- The ability to verify yourself as the brand owner for your products.
- A Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), such as a UPC or EAN barcode on your products.
- The ability to apply unique Transparency codes on every unit you manufacture.
Ready to apply? Visit Transparency for more info.
What is Amazon Project Zero?
Project Zero leverages the combined strengths of Amazon and brands to drive counterfeits to zero through the following three mechanisms:
Powered by Amazon’s machine learning, automated protections continuously scan Amazon’s stores and proactively remove suspected counterfeits. Brands provide key data points about themselves (e.g., trademarks, logos, etc.) and Amazon scans over 5 billion daily listing update attempts, looking for suspected counterfeits.
Self-service counterfeit removal
Brands no longer need to contact Amazon to remove counterfeit listings from their stores. Instead, they have the unprecedented ability to do so themselves using the new self-service tool. Amazon also uses this data to strengthen their automated protections to better catch potential counterfeit listings proactively in the future.
Brands apply a unique code on every unit they manufacture for an enrolled product, allowing Amazon to scan and confirm the authenticity of every one of those products purchased in Amazon’s stores. With this service, Amazon can detect and stop counterfeiting for every product unit before it reaches a customer.
Project Zero is currently an invite-only program. Visit the website to join the waitlist.
Already enrolled in the Brand Registry?
Brand owners enrolled (in the Brand Registry) prior to April 30, 2017 will need to re-enroll to enjoy the updated program’s benefits.
It is highly encouraged that manufacturers (especially new brands) apply to the Amazon Brand Registry program.Today, Amazon has global team of investigators that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to and take action on notices of potential infringement.
Amazon investigates and takes action on more than 95% of all notices of potential infringement received from brands in Brand Registry within eight hours.
How Does the Brand Registry Process Work?
The first thing you need to have is a Seller Central Account. If you don’t already have one, you can register for one at https://sellercentral.amazon
Next, you have to create an account through the Amazon Brand Registry. Amazon will ask for your registered Trademark Number as well as one form of social media.
What is a Trademark Number?
A trademark number is the number assigned to a pending or registered trademark. This number is issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Pending trademarks are given serial numbers, and registered trademarks are issued registration numbers.
How do I Apply for a Trademark Number?
You can apply for a trademark online by going to www.uspto.gov and completing a TEAS form. The process can take up to 9 months. Application costs vary based on the filing type selected and the class of goods or service being registered. You can read more about the fees on the official site.
How is the Trademark Number used in Brand Registry?
Once you’ve submitted the Brand Registry application, Amazon will then send an email to the person or address connected to the Trademark account. This email will contain a case number code.
When you receive this case number code, go to your Seller Central application and paste it into the required field. Please note that this Trademark needs to be a live trademark [confirm not pending?] in order to work.
Once all the pieces are in place and all the information completed, pay your fee of $248 and proceed with the application. The Brand Registry will be completed relatively quickly. Some people have even reported overnight turnaround times, however, this may vary from person to person.
To recap, here are the following steps you must take to sign up for the Brand Registry:
- Log into your Amazon Seller Central Account
- Create an account through Amazon Brand Registry
- Amazon asks for Trademark Number
- Amazon sends an email to register to the Trademark account
- Then you should receive your case number code (in the email)
- Copy and paste code into Seller Central (Trademark needs to be live)
- Pay fee