Amazon launches IP program to help businesses secure trademark

Shubhangi Chowdhury
05 Jul 2021
Amazon launches IP program to help businesses secure trademark

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Amazon, the e-commerce behemoth, unveiled its Intellectual Property Accelerator or IP Accelerator program on Sunday to assist sellers who are also brand owners with easy access to services from trusted intellectual property experts and law firms, the company stated in an official press release.

It has also included small and medium-sized sellers in securing trademarks, protecting their brands, and combating infringement on and Amazon websites around the world.

“Establishing IP rights is essential for businesses of all sizes to differentiate their products, earn customer trust, and grow their business. However, the process can be complex and time-consuming, leading to a lot of businesses dropping off along the way,” said Pranav Bhasin, director, MSME and selling partner experience, Amazon India, adding, “We are excited to launch the IP accelerator programme in India, to support sellers, especially small- and medium-sized sellers with nascent brands, in establishing IP protection.”

According to Bhasin, over 850,000 sellers are registered with Amazon in India, and the company is committed to providing new tools, technology, and innovation to help them grow.

“Our accelerator programme enables businesses to protect their IP, which, in turn, helps to ensure an authentic shopping experience for everyone,” said Mary Beth Westmoreland, vice-president, technology, brand protection, Amazon, adding, “IP accelerator is already available in the US, Europe, and Canada, and we are excited to offer the advantages of this programme to our Indian businesses.”

The process of registering a trademark with the Intellectual Property India, Trade Marks Registry can take up to 18-24 months. Going through the process on their own may be time-consuming and complex for brand owners, particularly those from small and medium-sized businesses.

The IP accelerator program assists businesses in navigating the process by connecting them with trusted IP law firms that are subject matter experts in this field and have experience drafting trademark and other IP registration applications.

Businesses can work with these firms to overcome common roadblocks that would otherwise prevent the registration from being issued. Moreover, they can also use Amazon India's brand protection services to effectively protect and manage their brand and intellectual property (IP) on the marketplace before their trademark is officially registered.

Amazon India empowers brands through initiatives such as brand registry, transparency, and project zero, which employ machine learning and automated systems to weed out potential counterfeits from the marketplace.

According to Amazon, it allows brands to protect their intellectual property rights.

The intellectual property accelerator was launched in the United States in 2019 and since then expanded to Europe, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and now India.

The program was pilot-launched in India in 2020, and businesses had given it positive feedback. Sellers with a new business setup and young brand owners have been especially drawn to the ease of finding trusted legal services.

Six IP law firms, including Hasan and Singh, LexOrbis, Sujata Chaudhri IP Attorneys, Amitabha Sen & Co., Remfry & Sagar, and H K Acharya & Company, have signed up to be service providers as part of the IP accelerator program to support sellers on Amazon India.

“We are happy to be associated with Amazon’s IP accelerator programme as a selected firm,” said Sujata Chaudhri, founder, Sujata Chaudhri IP Attorneys, adding, “We are sure this programme will create an excellent platform for small, medium, and start-up firms in India to get connected with a proven and trusted network of IP law firms in India, thereby giving access to various brand protection tools. We look forward to an engaging association with sellers on Amazon India.”

The IP accelerator can be accessed by sellers via Amazon India's service provider network (SPN), providing the convenience of obtaining the service in a single location. Sellers pay no extra fees to access IP accelerator firm listings on SPN and can choose to engage with law firms directly and independently for services of their choice at mutually agreed-upon terms.

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