This morning, Amazon announced the launch of its Intellectual Property (IP) Accelerator program in Canada to help small and medium-sized (SMBs) businesses across the country secure a trademark and protect their brands both in Amazon’s stores and the broader marketplace quickly and cost-effectively.
The IP Accelerator, announced on World Intellectual Property Day, will connect participating SMBs with a network of local Canadian IP law firms, including women and minority-owned, multilingual firms, while charging reduced, pre-negotiated fees on key services such as expert legal and general IP advice. These are services that are otherwise cost-prohibitive or hard to find for many SMBs, the online retail giant noted in an April 26 news release.
“More than 30,000 Canada-based third-party sellers have grown their business with Amazon, reaching millions of customers while grossing more than $2 billion on Amazon’s stores around the world. IP Accelerator allows our SMB selling partners to build on that success by protecting their valuable IP and setting them up for long-term growth. Establishing and protecting IP rights are essential for businesses of every size, and Amazon is pleased to introduce a new tool that provides access to specialized expertise to help protect brands,” noted Mary Beth Westmoreland, vice-president, brand protection at Amazon, said in the release.
The participating businesses can access Amazon’s brand protection tools months before their trademark registration is issued. Amazon says participants will also benefit from its automated, data-driven protections that “proactively remove suspected infringing or inaccurate content” as well as tools that enable brands to report suspected infringements. In addition, enrollment in Brand Registry will provide brands with greater influence over product information displayed on the online retailer’s product detail pages to help customers make informed purchasing decisions.
Any brand selling in Amazon’s stores can become a part of the IP accelerator. The current list of participating firms includes Bereskin & Parr, Brouillette Legal, Chari Prenol Slaney & Turco, Clancy PC, JZC Intellectual Property Law, Kestenberg Siegal Lipkus, Palmer IP, and Ridout & Maybee.
“In today’s competitive marketplace, your brand is one of your most valuable assets as it represents your reputation in the eyes of consumers, directing them to your products and services. Brand protection on a store like Amazon, which reaches millions of customers worldwide, is essential, not only to prevent unauthorized use of your marks, but also to protect you from potential claims by third parties. Amazon’s IP Accelerator helps small businesses connect with trusted trademark professionals to protect their brands. Clancy PC is excited to be part of the program and to assist small businesses through the trademark registration and Amazon Brand Registry process,” noted Paula Clancy, founder and managing attorney at Clancy PC.
Amazon also says that the IP Accelerator will facilitate the process of filing individual trademark applications to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office for participating Canadian SMBs by connecting them with lawyers who are skilled in drafting trademark applications and can help remove common obstacles that could delay the issuance of a registration, noted Amazon.
“We are excited to be involved with the IP Accelerator and pleased that Amazon places such an emphasis on IP protection. A company’s brand is its most important investment, and trademark registration is a key aspect of protecting that brand. The IP Accelerator elevates the importance of intellectual property and is a significant step in helping small and medium-sized businesses obtain IP rights,” noted Antonio Turco, founding partner of CPST Law.
IP Accelerator was launched in the U.S. in 2019 and has since expanded to Europe, Japan, India, and now Canada. Since the launch, Amazon says over 6,000 trademark applications from participating brands have been submitted to trademark offices in their respective countries of operation, including the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.