Brand Registry, Gating, Trademarking and Transparency


James Thomson is with us on brand registry and was the first FBA Account Manager. Been involved with the Marketplace for 11 years and runs the Prosper show in Las Vegas annually.

Brand Registry

  • Amazon offers a few tools for brands to be authoritative
  • The Brand Registry is the tool used to demonstrate registered brands are the authentic owner of the brand
  • Amazon may not deem you a ‘real brand’
  • You must also resubmit all your content to secure your status
  • You have to be very logical and disciplined about how content is submitted and locked down after being approved for brand registry
  • Open fields with no data means that someone can come along and submit content in those fields
  • You can use brand registry to defend your product

Brand Registry to Lock Down content

  • Brand Registry is a content tool for locking down content
  • Not a tool for getting people off your brand and listing

Fill out all the Fields

  • There are 40 fields of data for your SKU
  • Your job as a brand registry owner is to fill out all of those fields – if you leave any empty someone else ‘could’ come and fill those in

Brand Gating versus Brand Registry

  • A distribution control effort
  • Very few brands get ‘gated’ and it only lasts for 12 months then Amazon turns it off
  • There are different levels of gating and for Amazon most gating means no ‘additional’ Sellers can create an offer on the listing
  • Any Sellers already there can continue, it’s not a method of kicking people off your listing

Amazon wants

  • Stifling competition is caused by gating
  • Amazon’s aim is to be the cheapest destination for the product
  • When you start gating you need a really good reason for doing it
  • Reasons for gating:
    • A long history of counterfeit sellers on the product (as in many months)
    • Put in or on your body – could cause long term harm to the customer if a counterfeit product is sold

Brand Gating a waste of time?

  • Amazon almost never awards gating for brands
  • When they do it’s not a tool for managing distribution control
  • Prefer to:
    • Get a design patent on my product to give me legal protection on my product – Amazon very happy to enforce design patents with counterfeit sellers of your product
    • Put an on-line reseller policy that includes language about anti-diverting to other sellers built around the status of your trademark
  • It’s a higher effort on behalf of the brand to protect itself
  • Control distribution to ensure others don’t get access to it to sell it
  • Put enough roadblocks in place and a trademark legal position that will deter illegal sellers

Trademarking

  • Have to have a trademark for Brand Registry 2.0
  • You can have a UK trademark and sell in USA using that Trademark
  • Why are you selling a ‘brand’ anyway – if you’ve just got a generic product in your own packaging then you don’t have a brand
  • You need to think of it as an asset that you’re building longterm – not just ticking a checkbox for Amazon
  • If there’s no long term intent to build up that brand then why
  • Worked with brands that have got big enough to be bought out by venture capitalists
  • If you are looking to sell the brand then use a lawyer to set it up the right way for selling it on

Beware of Abusing Brand Registry

  • James warns against Sellers abusing their brand registry seller support to get sellers off their listings time after time
  • Amazon frowns on this use of the brand registry and has been known to remove a sellers brand registry if it is abused to control distribution

Patents on Products

  • Amazon has a history of enforcing design patents
  • In the USA a design patent protects you for 14 years but cost thousands of dollars
  • Amazon will help protect your product if you can demonstrate your design patent is being violated

Amazon Transparency Programme

  • Help brands further control
  • Rolled out in test form in 2017 and rolling out further
  • Recognise you may have had some problems to counterfeit products being sold on Amazon
  • You can buy custom codes that get applied to the products – buy batches of a 1,000
  • Separate to the UPC and when Amazon receives the products into Amazon then when it receives the same product coming in from another seller then it will be rejected without this transparency code
  • If it goes merchant fulfilled then Amazon won’t see the product to see the code
  • Amazon continues to try and keep up with the nasty sellers out there

Contact

 

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