Are you a small business owner using Amazon as a sales channel? If you are, this is a story for you.
Amazon has been vigilant about the flood of counterfeit products in its marketplace. Hence, in order to protect its’ sellers rights, it established the Amazon Brand Registry so that sellers can enroll their products and protect their intellectual property. This program is restricted to brands who already have trademark protection, “…the mark must be a standard character mark, must be the subject of a registration, and must match the brand printed on products or packaging.”
Trademarks are subject to the country-first rule, meaning whoever registers first in a country has the rights to the trademark. It does not matter if it is registered in the company’s home country. Many businesses go online today and counterfeit products are plenty. Thus, no matter where you are, the first step has to be to register your trademark in ANY country where you are planning to sell. And, very importantly, you need to think into the future!
Advantages of registering your trademark:
Making sure that your brand name retains its reputation in such a big marketplace is vital for your business to flourish. Registering your trademark in Taiwan Intellectual Property Office accords you the following benefits:
- You can use the ® symbol to notify third parties that you own the trademark and it is registered;
- You can have certain advantages in registering your trademark abroad under certain treaties;
- You can record the mark at the Bureau of Customs to prevent the import of products/materials containing infringing marks;
- Registration itself is an evidence that you have the exclusive right to use the trademark in the registered trademark classes of your goods or services.
Then, another practical benefit to registration is that you can use the enforcement tools provided by third parties, such as Amazon. And in this case, having your trademark registration is a prerequisite.
Beware of cybersquatters:
Have you heard of cybersquatters? They are entities which register trademarks in different classes in a country where the trademark is not yet registered. When the brand itself goes to the country and attempts to register, they are faced with infringing someone else’s trademark. This has happened for example with the famous French soccer player Mbappe, whose name is being cyber-squatted in China. So if you have your trademark registered first, it protects you from such cybersquatters.
Trademarks are not only nice to have assets, but it is necessary for businesses to take advantage of all tools available and minimize the risk of your brand reputation going south. If you have not registered your brand, consider consulting MUSA Trademark today.