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Alexandre Darrigo, communication manager at Bizon and Amazon Expert

Alexandre Darrigo

04/09/2020

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Brand Registry, Transparency, Project Zero... How to protect your brands on Amazon?

Protect your brands, avoid counterfeiting and maximize your sales: a look back at all the tools Amazon has at your disposal. In this article, we take an in-depth look at the Brand Registry, Amazon Project Zero, and Transparency, the programs Amazon gives to brands to fight counterfeiting. The article covers everything you need to know to protect your brands!

With 350 million products on the marketplace and astronomical sales volumes, it is understandable that it can be scary at first glance to bring its brand on Amazon.

"Among these millions of products, how can I be sure that my brand is not counterfeit?"

Amazon provides all its sellers with many ways to protect their brands: this is our topic of the day. Whether in an automated way or via dedicated tools provided to sellers, it is now possible to sell on Amazon without worrying about counterfeiting and intellectual property infringements and to effectively fight against these problems.

Note for our readers who don't want to sell on Amazon: your products may already be sold on Amazon (Nike is supposed to have left Amazon... its not completely true). It is therefore interesting for you to be present on Amazon to protect your brands, even if you don't sell there.

The Brand Registry and its programs Transparency and Project Zero will be the best allies in your quest. Let Bizon explains.

Protect your brands!

Amazon Brand Registry: the gateway to protecting your brands.

The first thing to do is to register your trademarks at the Brand Registry. Concretely, this means proving to Amazon that you are the owner of the brand you represent.

The Brand Registry is the name of the program developed by Amazon to allow trademark owners to register their trademarks. Once registered through this program, you have access to several tools to protect your intellectual property.

➡️ You should also be aware that this program gives you the opportunity to expand your marketing content on Amazon: create a store dedicated to your brand (called a Brand Store) and enrich your product pages (with an "A+ Page") for example. The Brand Registry allows you to both develop your content and protect it.

Brandt's french Brand Store

There are three conditions to register your brands. You need to:

  1. Have a trademark registered, the one that appears on your products
  2. Be able to prove that you are the owner of the rights to the trademark
  3. Have an Amazon account

This first point is crucial: Amazon exclusively supports the owners of trademarks registered at the Brand Registry through its anti-counterfeiting programs.

If you wish to reduce the administrative burden of registering your trademarks, please contact us!

The different tools deployed by Amazon to fight against counterfeiting

Once your trademark is registered at the Brand Registry, Amazon provides you with 4 programs and tools to protect your trademarks. Some of them require your intervention, others work independently.

Let's take a look at these different solutions.

1. Automated Amazon's brand protection

Amazon's first response to limiting counterfeiting is 100% automated. Using complex algorithms, Amazon is able to identify counterfeit products from brands registered in its Brand Registry.

These algorithms include inbound verification. They ensure that all the information provided when a reference is offered for sale matches the information provided by the brand owner to the Brand Registry.

2. Amazon's "Report a Violation" form

Amazon also emphasizes the ability to report violations on a case-by-case basis. The form is called "Report a Violation". Its interface is available in the "Support" tab of your Seller Central interface.

Please note, however, that you should only report sellers who violate your rights. Those who sell counterfeit products on your ASIN for example. It is essential to be in good faith, this will increase your credibility score with Amazon and this will directly influence the Project Zero program, which we will talk about shortly after this article.

You should also understand that Amazon is a marketplace open to everyone, as long as the products sold are authentic. Being the owner of a brand does not mean that you will be the only one allowed to market it. Thus, beware: it is not a tool to point out your resellers, far from it, and you would penalize yourself for doing so.

Amazon's "Report a Violation" tool

3. Amazon Project Zero

Amazon Project Zero is a program launched in 2019. It now has about 8000 users according to Amazon. Its objective is simple: to give brands a means to fight against infringements and counterfeiting, while giving them more independence to do so.

Brands eligible for the Project Zero program can withdraw counterfeit products themselves.

To be eligible for Project Zero, you must :

  • Be the owner of the trademark rights
  • Have an Amazon account with access to the Brand Registry
  • Have submitted reports of potential infractions with an acceptance rate of at least 90% in the last 6 months.

You must show that your brand is counterfeit and that you are actively engaged in reporting fraudulent products: this is what lies behind this third condition, which is more complex to fulfill than the others. Once this has been done, you will be able to remove these unwanted products from sale yourself.

➡️ Important note: If a brand abuses this power (for example, by excluding competitors), Amazon reserves the right to remove it from the program for life.

4. Amazon Transparency

Launched in 2018, Transparency also supports more than 8,000 brands.

Transparency is a product serialization service. It allows you to identify your products individually and then prevent the sale and shipment of counterfeit products. How it works in practice: once your products are registered, a code unique to each one will be generated. Amazon will scan these codes in its warehouses and require third party vendors to provide them before each sale to authenticate the products.

Note: The Transparency program may be binding, because it requires your brand to provide QR Codes on all packaging, whether or not it is sold on Amazon. This is a cost that you must include in the creation of your packaging.

➡️ The specificity of Transparency: it is a proactive program. Once your brands are registered, it offers you global protection, worldwide and above all without any intervention on your part. There is no registration fee to join the program, the price will depend on the number of ASINs you wish to protect.

A unique QR Code will be found on each package of registered products. Consumers will be able to scan these codes with the Transparency application (available on the Play Store and iOS) to verify the authenticity of the product they have purchased.

Last but not least, Amazon provides member brands with a monthly report including who tried to sell their product and how many counterfeit sales were prevented.

In conclusion, here's the best way to protect your brands.

Amazon's programs are essential to defending your brands with the minimum investment of time and money. In the short term, it is essential to register your brands with the Brand Registry. In the long term, Project Zero and Transparency services are your best weapons.

We often hear that Amazon is a place where counterfeit products are sold without control: this is not true. On the contrary, thousands of products are removed every day and the tools available to brands are very powerful.

As an agency, we take advantage of these programs on a daily basis to ensure the quality of service for our customers on the marketplaces. Do not hesitate to contact us, we will discuss together how to protect your brands on Amazon!

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