It’s time to talk all about trademarks and brand registry for your Amazon store again, and not just because we tend to get a lot of questions about this topic in general, but also because Amazon has changed some of the rules recently. As always, we have our resident trademark expert, attorney Ben Becker, on hand to lead us all through the changes and to respond to some of the more frequent questions that come our way.
Once again, I’ll begin by reminding you of our incredible workshop that we have coming up – I just can’t wait to see you all – and then Ben will bring us up to date on some of his own news. From there on, it’s all about the trademarks – their importance, incorporating other brands into your trademarked brand, getting them done yourself or with an attorney, and a comparison of ‘intent to use’ and ‘use in commerce’. We then go on to discuss best specimen submission practices, things to avoid doing when filing, the value to be found in asking questions, and what’s involved in enforcing your trademark. We’ll finish up by looking at what happens in a ‘cease and desist’ situation, and how to make Google Alerts work for you. Trademarks and brand equity are always going concerns among those of us in the bundling industry, especially now with the changes that Amazon is implementing, so you really owe it to yourself and your business to listen in and soak up the valuable information and advice offered here today.
This week on the Amazon Files:
“Having a trademark is that investment that kind of shows your credibility - that you're serious, that you take your brand and your business seriously.”
- Kristin Ostrander
“Amazon has now allowed us to, once you register for your trademark - even if it's not approved - they let you use that registration number to file for brand registry.”
“The purpose of a trademark is to protect your brand to help you grow and develop your brand, your goodwill, and allow clients to identify you as a source of a product or a service.”
“I'm constantly preaching the gospel of business assets and how you build your business for long term, you know, sustainability or exit.”
“It's like insurance almost, except...you have it for five years.”
“The people who are creating bundles are creating an entirely new product out of third party products, and then advertising them as they are legally able to do, and accurately describing what's in those packages.”
“My answer to whether or not an attorney should help you is: it depends.”
“So when you're looking at a mark, you want to try to stay away from descriptive terms. Try to stay away from your own last name plus descriptive terms. You also want to avoid being confusingly similar...to any registered mark.”
“The USPTO does not allow your trademark to become registered until you are actually using it to sell your products or services.”
“If you're risk averse, filing an intent to use ensures that you get the trademark before you spend any money and doing branding and marketing and labels and all those types of things.”
“If you're actually doing bundles of your own branded products, your best bet is going to be get your brand name on those actual products.”
“So if you're doing a gift basket, then the packaging would be the branded product, not the things inside.”
“If you are deemed to be infringing upon somebody else's mark, they can take all of your profits.”
“Put on your big girl pants because it's going to be a while.”
“If you get to a point where you're starting to have misgivings, stop and talk to somebody.”
“Once you have a trademark, it is your responsibility to police the trademark. The USPTO will not do that for you.”
“I would be cautious when dealing with the products and services of larger brands because they are more invested and more likely to be aggressive in their measures.”
Grow Your Amazon Business!
Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of The Amazon Files, the show to help Amazon sellers along their business journey one step at a time with Amazon expert and your host, Kristin Ostrander. If you enjoyed this episode, head over to Apple Podcasts, subscribe to the show and leave us your honest review. Don’t forget to share your favorite episodes with your friends on social media! Use the codeword Trademark to join us on Facebook. Each week, Kristin hosts a live discussion on how to grow your Amazon business. Don’t forget to check out our website and subscribe to our mailing list for even more resources.