Amazon copycats present real problems for any Amazon seller. They copy products, they copy brand names and they hijack listings. While it may be impossible to get rid of Amazon copycats completely, there are ways that you can deal with them if you are an Amazon seller.
Steps To Deal With Amazon Copycats
Dealing with Amazon copycats begins with setting up proper legal protection. When you do encounter a copycat (not if), you want to have the tools to solve the problem quickly and with minimum headache. Here are four things that you can do today to prepare yourself for this inevitable situation.
- Pick a distinctive brand name. Some business owners love brand names that describe their goods or services. “Piping Hot Pizza”, “Los Angeles Bagels”, “Green Transportation”, “Counsel for Creators”. While these names can sound good, they can sometimes run into issues getting full trademark protection right away. Trademarks need to establish themselves through usage before receiving full trademark rights. Before that, they can be registered on a secondary trademark register called the supplemental register. This proves relevant because trademarks on the supplemental trademark register are typically not able to be included in the Amazon Brand Registry (see below).
- Register your trademark. After you pick your trademark, register it. Your brand represents your business’ single most valuable asset, so skimping on this part is kind of a bonehead move. As part of the registration process, you need a comprehensive trademark search to make sure that you don’t run into conflicts with other marks. Once you have the registration, you can participate in the Amazon Brand Registry.
- Sign up for the Amazon Brand Registry. Any Amazon seller knows about the Amazon Brand Registry. But it is the basic way to protect your brand from Amazon copycats. This program allows you to easily report and deal with infringements of your brand. But to use it, your mark cannot be on the supplemental trademark register (see above).
- Consider copyright registration. Copyright registration provides a wonderful tool. Any Amazon seller should use it, depending upon the types of products that they sell. A valid copyright registration will help you to file DMCA takedowns and also give you leverage against Amazon copycats who use your creative work.
Putting It Into Practice
That’s four simple things that any Amazon seller can do to thwart Amazon copycats. Since they vary in relevance from business to business, it can be helpful to at least consult with an attorney on how you can set these things up properly and take advantage of the tools that the law offers to protect your business.