Amazon Brand Registry is the online marketplace juggernaut’s way of taking a proactive approach to protecting the integrity and representation of brands whose products are sold on its site. When it comes to capabilities, Amazon Brand Registry boasts a toolkit that includes the ability to control product pages, search for and report infringement, identify improper use of trademark, logo, and identification and removal of bad listings. Here at Gray Falkon, we recommend registering your brand in Brand Registry, because some protection by Amazon is better than none.
We list below the key areas registering your brand in Brand Registry is meant to protect you from on Amazon, along with a breakdown of what you are still in need of to build an impenetrable digital shield against the gray market.
1. Increase Brand Control
Registering your brand with Brand Registry allows you to gain and keep control over anyone else’s use of your specific brand name. This largely means that customers are more likely to see accurate information about your brand when they find your products while browsing. Product listings that don’t relate to your brand but use trademarked terms that belong to you can be removed. Products that aren’t listed under your brand name but use your logo are also at risk thanks to Amazon Brand Registry.
2. Search for ASINs in Bulk
Amazon Brand Registry’s custom features can enable you to search for and report third party sellers and counterfeit listings more quickly. Not only can you use an image search to look for potential sellers trying to hijack photos of your products or your logo, but you can also search for ASIN numbers in bulk. Once you uncover listings that potentially infringe on your brand, Amazon provides instructions on reporting them so it can review and take appropriate action.
3. Combat Counterfeit
One of the primary reasons Amazon’s Brand Registry program was created and still exists today is to prevent counterfeit goods from being sold via Amazon. Most of the search tools provided and described above are meant to empower brands to hunt down knock-off products.
4. Intellectual Property Infringement
The second primary goal of Amazon Brand Registry is to keep brands safe from intellectual property infringement. Protection from infringement of your intellectual property can apply to gray market, but it heavily depends on the type and proof of violation. For example, if a brand substantiates that one of its copyrighted images is being used without authorization, Amazon typically acts swiftly to remove the infringing image from its site. If you can prove an unauthorized seller has violated your intellectual property rights in posting certain listings, Amazon will help you remove that listing, or at least the infringing material.
How Amazon Brand Registry Can’t Protect Your Brand
MAP violation prevention
The violations Amazon cares about do not include minimum advertising pricing (MAP)
Violations. Competitive pricing is actually good news for Amazon, because part of their appeal is being the hub where customers can find a product for the lowest price on the market. MAP enforcement is an entirely different battle to fight, but you can win it. We previously wrote an article about the different types of MAP violators and what you can do to stop them. You can find it here.
Loopholes exist outside of what Amazon cares about, and many third party sellers have found creative ways to list products under your name anyway. The protection registering your brand on Amazon Brand Registry provides is less about stopping gray market sellers from listing your products in the first place and more about giving you guidance on reporting that activity so that those listings can be reviewed and potentially removed.
When you complain that a retailer listing your products isn’t part of your authorized resale network, Amazon views these disputes as distribution channel issues and consistently refuses to take any action at all. The main reason Amazon takes this position is based on the fact that in general, selling on the gray market is completely legal. Exceptions exist, and Gray Falkon is an expert in identifying and acting on those. On the other hand, if a seller is pushing black market products or illegally using your intellectual property, Amazon is more likely to help.
Your brand can never have enough protection within the eCommerce world, and you should not rely on Amazon Brand Registry alone. That’s where Gray Falkon comes in. Think of Amazon Brand Registry as the last line of reserve defense between the gray market and your product’s sales and reputation, but consider Gray Falkon as the front line defense and preemptive strike in the battle against third party sellers. Contact us to get more aggressive and robust protection for your brand.
About the Author
Gray Falkon Chief Compliance Officer, Brandt Madsen is the author of this blog post. If you are interested in learning more about him and the Gray Falkon team visit their About Us page here.