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How to Combat Copycat Products on Amazon: Amazon Brand Registry and the Amazon Patent Evaluation Express (APEX) Program, Part 1

Posted by Isabel Fox | Jun 25, 2024 | 0 Comments

The popularity of e-commerce seems to be ever-growing, but along with this increase in popularity comes an increase in the prevalence of “copycat” products. Consumers often seek out copycats or “dupes” for well-known and expensive brands on sites like Amazon. While these cheaper (both in price and quality) products may entice consumers looking to save a few dollars, businesses are being hit hard by copycats. 

In an effort to address this issue, Amazon established two options for intellectual property (IP) rights owners to combat infringement of their IP: the Amazon Brand Registry and the Amazon Patent Evaluation Express (APEX) program. 

This article will focus on the Amazon Brand Registry, and a follow-up article will discuss the APEX program.

The Amazon Brand Registry “provides access to powerful tools including proprietary text and image search, predictive automation based on your reports of suspected intellectual property rights violations, and increased authority over product listings with your brand name.”[i] Brand Registry can be used to submit and manage complaints regarding intellectual property (IP) infringement, including copyright, trademark, and patent infringement. For example, if an IP rights owner finds an Amazon product listing with infringing content, the rights owner can report that listing via Brand Registry.

It's important to note that the Amazon Brand Registry is only available to owners of registered or pending trademarks in specific countries (including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, much of Europe, Australia, Japan, India, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE). In other words, if you don't already have a registered trademark with the ® indicator, you must have a trademark application on file and be in the process of obtaining the “®” indicator, not just the “™” indicator.

As discussed in previous articles, trademarks are words, phrases, symbols, designs, or some combination thereof that identify and associate a good with the particular source of that good.

  • To become a registered trademark, the mark must be used in commerce; for example, in advertising, on product packaging, etc.
  • In addition, registered marks must demonstrate distinctiveness; in other words, a generic word cannot be trademarked for the corresponding good. For example, Apple® can be and (obviously) is trademarked for use by the technology company, but the word “apple” could not be trademarked as the name of the fruit. 

In addition to the Brand Registry, Amazon launched the “Transparency” program to help “brands stop inaccurate and counterfeit products, improve customer engagement, and gain valuable insights into their supply chain.”[i] The Transparency program works by issuing unique codes to identify enrolled products, and preventing counterfeit products (without Transparency codes) from being shipped to customers.

How Gallium Law Can Help

Obtaining a registered trademark can involve a substantial investment of both time and resources. The best way to protect your investment is to enforce your IP rights and ensure that others will not profit from your brand. The professionals at Gallium Law stand ready to assist you at every step of the way, including the Amazon-specific avenues discussed above. Please call us at 651-256-9480 or fill out this Contact Form to speak with us soon.

*The information in this article is not legal advice and should not be relied on. The content of this article is for informational purposes only and is meant as a starting point in your search for answers to your legal questions.




About the Author

Isabel Fox

Isabel Fox is a registered patent agent and has been with Gallium Law since 2018. Her practice largely revolves around utility and design patent prosecution; including conducting patent landscape searches, drafting patent applications, and responding to Office Actions issued by the USPTO...


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