2019 was the year Amazon proved they were serious about third party brands by giving them an entire arsenal of new tools to make driving sales on and off Amazon far easier.
These tools gave brands the ability to be, well, way more like brands in the real world – they could build stores, build followings, market far more powerfully on and off Amazon, and, most importantly, finally track where the sales were actually coming from and so know exactly what was and wasn’t working.
There was only one catch: in order to gain access to all of these tools and useful data, brands first had to join Amazon’s Brand Registry.
And that meant first proving to Amazon you were legit by trademarking your brand.
Which meant getting a trademark.
Which took foreverrrrrrrrrrrr. (Or, about 12 months when I did it. Which seemed like foreverrrrrrr.)
No trademark, no Brand Registry. End of discussion.
Related Podcast: E344: 7 Advanced Hacks for New and Experienced Amazon Sellers
- What is Amazon IP Accelerator?
- So Amazon IP Accelerator Will Help Me Get Your Trademark Faster?
- How Much Does Amazon IP Accelerator Cost?
- What Services Do Amazon IP Accelerator Law Firms Provide?
- Who Can Use Amazon IP Accelerator?
- How Do I Apply For Amazon IP Accelerator?
- What Happens If My Trademark Is Denied?
- Why Should You Join Brand Registry As Fast As You Can?
- Alternatives To Amazon IP Accelerator
What is Amazon IP Accelerator?
Amazon IP Accelerator was created to help brands that aren’t currently part of the Brand Registry “more quickly obtain intellectual property (IP) rights and brand protection in Amazon’s stores.“
That is, get a trademark for your brand, and get accepted to Amazon’s Brand Registry – and gain access to all of the delightful things that come with it – faster.
They do this by connecting sellers with “a curated network of trusted IP law firms that provide high-quality trademark registration services to help brands secure a trademark, at competitive rates.”
My Experience with Amazon IP Accelerator
When I used IP Accelerator (2020) I used IdeaLegal. The total fees were $875 which included the lawyer fees and USPTO trademark fees.
The trademark was filed on August 26 and I received an invite to Brand Registry on September 8, so in total it took about 10 days to get into Brand Registry.
So Amazon IP Accelerator Will Help Me Get Your Trademark Faster?
The huge benefit of Amazon IP Accelerator isn’t that you get your trademark faster.
It’s that you don’t have to wait until you’ve received your trademark before Amazon will accept you into the Brand Registry.
As soon as you file for your trademark using one of the law firms connected to Amazon IP Accelerator, you’ll immediately be invited to join the Brand Registry.
So no waiting and waiting and waiting for the USPTO to do its thing.
Because while it's doing its thing, Uncle Jeff will have already swung open the diamond-encrusted gates of the Brand Registry for you.
In the words of Amazon:
“Once Amazon becomes aware that you have filed a trademark application through an IP Accelerator law firm, then we will email you an invitation to enroll in Brand Registry. Once you complete that enrollment, we will automatically enroll you in our automated brand protections, provide you with access to the Report a Violation tool, and you will receive access to other brand-building features.”
How Much Does Amazon IP Accelerator Cost?
IP Accelerator is a free program.
That is, Amazon doesn’t charge you to connect you with its list of approved law firms.
Once you select a law firm, you then pay them to file your trademark.
When it comes to trademarks, Amazon has the following “Maximum service fees” pre-negotiated with those law firms:
- A high-level brand search of Trademark Office records for relevant pending applications or registrations = $500
- A comprehensive brand review including Trademark Office records and unregistered uses = $1800
- Filing a US trademark application = $600 (plus government fees or approximately $275)
Government Filing Fees
Government filing fees are $275 per class.
Whether you use a lawyer through IP Accelerator, any other lawyer, or do all the paperwork and file for your trademark yourself, you will always have to pay this fee.
A ‘class’ is the category your brand’s products will fall under — e.g. 028 Toys and Sporting goods or 018 Leather goods.
If you feel your brand may have products that are covered by more than one class (or may have in the future) it’s your call whether you want to file your trademark under each class. At $275 per class, it can get expensive.
What Services Do Amazon IP Accelerator Law Firms Provide?
Amazon’s IP Accelerator program only has pre-negotiated rates with the law firms it lists when it comes to filing your trademark, which includes both your wordmark (the name of your brand) and your design mark (your brand’s logo).
So while you can also hire these law firms for other IP-related services like filing design patent applications, copyright applications, there are no pre-negotiated Amazon fees, and the costs of those additional services will have to be determined between you and your chosen law firm.
Who Can Use Amazon IP Accelerator?
Anyone that sells on Amazon.
How Do I Apply For Amazon IP Accelerator?
You can apply to Amazon IP Accelerator here.
Once you click the ‘Get started’ button you’ll be asked what country you’re in, where you want to sell, and the service you need help with (IP Accelerator, duh), and you’ll be presented with a list of law firms to choose from.
Click on any law firm and you’ll be taken to a page where you can read reviews from other Amazon sellers that have used them, and contact that lawyer yourself.
What Happens If My Trademark Application Is Denied?
Just when this post was in danger of being all warm and fuzzy, Amazon swiftly reminds us they’re Amazon:
“We regularly monitor the status of trademark applications filed through IP Accelerator. If your application is denied, then you will no longer have access to the brand protection features for that trademark application.”
Why Should You Join Brand Registry As Fast As You Can?
- Protect Your Brand – Brand Registry means more ways to protect your brand from underhanded competitors on Amazon (to learn more, check out our Ultimate Guide To Protect Your Brand On Amazon).
- A+ Content – Allows you to expand your listing and create a more compelling sales message using images, copy and video.
- Manage Your Experiments – Allows you to run split tests of your A+Content to fully optimize its potential (to learn more, check out our Manage Your Experiments post).
- Brand Stores – Create a “website” exclusively for your brand within Amazon.com.
- Amazon Posts – Create Instagram style posts on Amazon to catch the eye of buyers and drive sales of your products (to learn more, check out our Amazon Posts post).
- Amazon Attribution – Finally track your off-Amazon marketing to know exactly which pieces are working.
- Amazon Live – Make, post, and promote your own QVC style videos (to learn more, check out our Amazon Live post).
Alternatives To Amazon IP Accelerator
A US trademark application can take anywhere from 6-12 months (or possibly even longer depending on whether your application has any issues) to get approved.
And the only way to join Brand Registry before you have an approved trademark is by applying for your trademark through Amazon IP Accelerator.
However, there are other ways to get a Brand Registry eligible trademark that while not as fast as IP Accelerator are both more cost-effective and faster than filing a trademark in the US:
Option 1: Slow but most cost-effective – Hands down the cheapest way to get a trademark is to file your own US trademark application. Yes, it still takes anywhere from 6-12 months, but your only expense is the $275 filing fee. To learn more about how to do it, check read this EcomCrew post about Amazon Brand Registry here.
Option 2: “Less Slow” Than A US Trademark – Amazon state on the Brand Registry FAQ page:
“We accept trademarks that have been issued by government trademark offices in the United States, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia, India, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United Arab Emirates. If your trademark is registered with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), please submit the number registered with your country’s IPO office instead, as it may be different. Brand Registry is not affiliated with any of these offices; please do not contact them for information about Brand Registry.”
So you don’t have to file for a US trademark to be accepted, and some of those other countries have way faster application times – e.g At the time of writing this a trademark application in the United Kingdom takes 3-5 months, and the lawyers there speak English (duh).
There are certainly less expensive ways to get your trademark, but the one huge benefit to Amazon IP Accelerator is that, once you file for your trademark with one of Amazon’s approved law firms, you get immediate access to the Brand Registry.
To find out your other options when it comes to filing for a trademark and joining Amazon’s Brand Registry, check out our Amazon Brand Registry post.