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Amazon Brand Registry: Infringement and Hijackers

If you sell your products on Amazon, you know the power of the Amazon Brand Registry. The Amazon Brand Registry is an incredibly powerful tool for Amazon sellers to utilize by proving the legitimacy of their brand to Amazon. This can be done by providing Amazon with a trademark registration number and country of origin for your brand’s trademark. Once this is done, Amazon provides protection against infringement and brand hijackers.

Amazon’s Risks

Amazon is a third party company, not the federal government. But, if a seller can provide the proper documentation of trademark infringement, the Amazon Brand Registry will remove any infringing listings or hijacking brands. Trademark infringement is extremely common on Amazon- it can be difficult to ascertain which brands are originals and which are copycats until the product is in hand. Online shopping lends itself more to copycat brands than retail storefront shopping. Pictures and trademarks can be copied very easily online.

Amazon’s Protection

Thankfully, the Amazon Brand Registry program is very affective at eliminating these trademark infringements and highjackers when they are provided with proper proof of this copycat behavior. To ensure that Amazon will remove copycat behavior, it’s important that a trademark owner can prove three things.

First, the owner must be able to prove that the trademark is legally protectable by having a federal trademark registration.

Second, the owner must be able to prove that he or his company is the owner of the trademark; frustrated customers cannot be the ones to complain to the Amazon Brand Registry, it must be the owner of the trademark.

And third, the owner must be able to show that the copycat’s use of the trademark creates a likelihood of confusion with the legal use of the trademark. On Amazon, it’s fairly straightforward to show that a likelihood of confusion exists. This can be done by showing that photos were stolen, product names were stolen, customers were confused, etc. Often, confused customers will leave negative reviews on the highjackers products- these can provide great evidence of a likelihood of confusion.

Further Steps

Even though Amazon does provide its sellers with great protection, sometimes it still isn’t enough to stop brand hijackers. If the infringement continues past the point of the Amazon Brand Registry’s power, then retaining an attorney to draft a cease and desist letter could be the right next step.

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