In 2017, Amazon introduced its Brand Registry service, available to sellers who have an active registered or pending trade mark in each country in which enrolment is desired. 

The Registry provides brand owners with a way to demonstrate that they are the registered and rightful owner of a particular mark which in turn reassures potential customers as to the authenticity of a listing. The service also offers a search tool to allow sellers to find and report suspected violations via a simple process, in order to reduce intellectual property rights violations. In addition, sellers are provided with a means to stop competitors from changing listing contents to sabotage listings.

Also available is Amazon's Transparency program. This product serialisation service enables Amazon to authenticate each item before it is shipped to a customer. When a brand enrols in Transparency, it is issued with a secure, unique, alphanumeric code and all the seller needs do is add the Transparency logo and barcode to packaging which can be done via a sticker. Customers can use the Transparency App to authenticate products, regardless of where they were purchased.

Despite these steps in the right direction, it is notoriously difficult to close off routes that can lead to your brand being misappropriated on Amazon, potentially leading to its demise. We recently assisted a client whose brand had been hijacked, with its legitimate use by authorised resellers being blocked on Amazon; the process was not straightforward and knowledge of the procedure to follow, with a route to the relevant Amazon team, is vital.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.