You may have heard of Amazon’s “Brand Registry.” If not, it is a way for a brand owner to register and claim a brand name so that the claimant can better monitor for counterfeit goods, rogue sellers, and other issues on Amazon.
In a trademark application, there is an area for filling out “Correspondent” information. This is typically where a lawyer’s information goes if a lawyer filed the application. It’s also where Amazon looks to see where Amazon should send Brand Registry emails. For example, if my client is ACME Anvils, and my client owns a registered trademark for “ACME Anvils,” then I am likely the “Correspondent” for that registration. Thus, when ACME Anvils decides to list its anvils on Amazon and also wants to claim the ACME Anvils brand as its own, Amazon will send me, as the Correspondent, an email such as the following:
We write to validate the identity of an individual seeking to enroll brand: “ACME Anvils” in Amazon Brand Registry. You are listed as the contact for the registered trademark for brand: “ACME Anvils”.
We are unable to provide you with the name of the applicant and have directed the applicant to contact you. In order to give the applicant approval to enroll brand: “ACME Anvils” in Amazon’s Brand Registry, provide the verification code listed below to the applicant. If you decline, do not provide the code.
Verification code: [redacted]
Thank you in advance for your assistance, Amazon Brand Registry Support
Amazon Brand Registry Support
When we receive such emails, we simply forward them to the client, and the client ultimately claims the brand on Amazon.
Sounds easy, right? It is, but there is a MAJOR caveat:
That’s right – if you only have a logo-version of your mark registered with the USPTO, you cannot claim the brand via Amazon’s Brand Registry. You must have a registration for the plain-text version of your mark.
(In case the graphic doesn’t show up, the highlighted portion says that to enroll in the Brand Registry, the brand name must be “a live registered trademark, which is a word mark and NOT a stylized, illustration, or design mark.”)
This is a very important reason to seek protection for the plain-text version of your mark in conjunction with, or prior to, seeking protection for your logo. We often see clients who are adamant about only filing a trademark application for their logo. This is understandable. The logo was probably the product of much debate, love, and cash. People seem more wedded to their logos than their simple textual brand names. But, we typically advise clients to begin with the plain text version of the mark as it can be seen as providing “broader” protection because there are no claims to specific colors or symbols – it’s just the name of the mark regardless of how it’s presented. However, if you sell goods that you would like to ultimately list on Amazon, at least under the current policy, you should consider registering the plaint-text version of your mark.