Protecting Your Brand on Amazon
In today’s ever-expanding ecommerce environment, online brand protection and enforcement has become a necessary undertaking of paramount importance for brand owners in efforts to combat the illicit trade of counterfeit and infringing products. With around 2 million active sellers on Amazon, and approximately 200 million active Amazon Prime subscribers, it’s easy to understand why brand owners choose to offer their products on Amazon.
Amazon has established itself as the gold standard of the modern consumer experience, offering essentially unparalleled fast and efficient customer service. However, brand owners selling their products on Amazon have struggled to control the consumer experience, risking reputation and goodwill established in their brands that may have taken significant amounts of time and money to develop.
The loss of control, in large part, has been caused by the proliferation of counterfeit and infringing products offered by third party sellers. These third party sellers have the ability to bid on Amazon Ads for similar key words that will position their product next to the genuine product when the consumer searches for the genuine product. Consumers may be enticed to purchase the cheaper version, and may not know it isn’t genuine until they receive the inferior quality product.
For some time, many ecommerce platforms, including Amazon, took a hands-off approach when brand owners began to complain, citing that they are not best-positioned to evaluate intellectual property disputes. However, with increasing intellectual property violations plaguing brand owners, and inferior quality knockoff goods ending up in the hands of Amazon customers, mounting pressure from brand owners and customers alike encouraged Amazon to develop some intellectual property protection and enforcement tools to uphold the integrity of brand reputations.
Neil Salyards is a member of Procopio’s Sports and Active Lifestyle practice. He represents clients in the enforcement of international and domestic intellectual property assets with a focus on trademark, copyright and brand protection.