by Trademark Garden | April 26, 2018
The greatest threat to the continued success of a growing Amazon private label seller is to have your brand counterfeited or hijacked by a third party looking to trade on someone else’s success. Once the hijack occurs, it is very difficult to remove the counterfeit sellers, and even once that’s done, the negative reviews left on your listing can tarnish your brand forever. Luckily, Amazon provides a tool called Amazon Brand Gating that allows brand owners to control who can sell their products. For example, as Nike is Brand Gated, anyone attempting to sell Nike apparel on Amazon would need to submit a “Selling application” including authorization from Nike to do so:
While third parties would still be able to list similar goods as “Used – Like New”, they will never be eligible to win the Buy Box. And you don’t have to be Nike to have this protection, any private label seller or brand owner can make use of Amazon Brand Gating by following a few steps:
1. Get your brand trademarked with the USPTO
The first step to protecting any brand is to get a federal trademark. This will allow you to get onto the Amazon Brand Registry as well as allow you to prevent third parties from selling goods under your trademark in U.S. commerce, whether on Amazon, or through any other medium.
2. Get your brand onto the Amazon Brand Registry
Although this is a necessary step to use Amazon Brand Gating, it does not prevent third parties from selling under your brand in of itself. It does, however, allow you to use Amazon Brand Gating.
3. Contact Amazon with a list of ASIN’s to be gated.
There is no current interface to have your brand gated, so you will need to contact Amazon with: (a.) a list of ASIN’s to be gated; (b.) your trademark registration; (c.) your Amazon Brand Registry membership/ Seller ID; (d.) any evidence you have of attempted counterfeit or hijacking activity on one or more of the ASIN’s; (e.) any steps you have taken to protect your brand, and prevent counterfeiting and hijacking.
4. Follow up promptly
Amazon will probably respond to your Amazon Brand Gating inquiry with additional requests for information. Follow up promptly to make sure that the process proceeds, and does so as quickly as possible. The entire process generally takes between 5-10 weeks.
5. Check up regularly
Check regularly to see if your ASIN’s have been gated yet. Amazon should contact you when the process is done, and you can always follow up with them regularly. In addition, you can create a secondary seller account, and attempt to list against one of your own ASIN’s to see if the Gating is in effect.
6. Enjoy your protection!
If all went well, your brand should be Gated, which will be a very effective deterrent to counterfeiters and hijackers. Note that this process is not guaranteed, and Amazon may decline to gate a brand or set of ASIN’s at their discretion. They are a private company, and the decision to Gate is ultimately up to them.
If you’re having trouble, or just want to make sure that everything is done properly, you can always hire a professional to help, and our attorneys at Trademark Garden would be happy to help you whatever step of the process you are on. Contact us for a free quote on whatever you need done.
Protect your brand with a trademark registration.
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