Amazon launched Intellectual Property Accelerator (IP Accelerator) in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands and the United Kingdom, making it easier and more cost-effective for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to obtain trademarks, protect their brands and tackle counterfeit goods.
IP Accelerator, which is available to any brand selling in Amazon’s stores, connects entrepreneurs directly with a curated network of European law firms with expertise in IP rights.
Participating law firms will charge fees to SMBs at competitive, pre-negotiated rates, giving sellers confidence and clarity about how much obtaining a trademark will cost them. In addition, SMBs can also seek general IP advice from these law firms as their brands and businesses grow.
Small Business Overlook Value Of IP Protection
Amazon launched IP Accelerator specifically with small business owners in mind. Larger businesses are four times more likely than SMBs to register their Intellectual Property (IP) rights.
The main reason small business entrepreneurs do not protect their rights is because of a lack of knowledge about IP and not knowing where to turn.
The process can be complicated, particularly for entrepreneurs in the early stages of setting up a business, and Amazon wanted to provide low-cost assistance to all European SMBs, including the over 150,000 European-based SMBs selling on Amazon. Selling partners continue to account for over 50% of products Amazon sells in its online stores.
IP rights are vital for businesses wanting to stop unauthorized parties from using their brands or copying their ideas. Owning IP can also create additional sources of revenue should entrepreneurs wish to license their goods or services to third parties.
“We know from our conversations with small business owners that there is often confusion about why IP rights are important and how sellers can secure them,” said Francois Saugier, Vice President for EU Seller Services, Amazon.
SMB Gain Access To Powerful Tools
Businesses using IP Accelerator will also get access to Amazon’s wider brand protection services months or even years before their trademark registration is officially issued.
Amazon’s Brand Registry provides SMBs with powerful tools that help them manage and protect their brand and IP rights in Amazon stores.
Brand Registry is a free service and over 350,000 brands are already enrolled. Participants benefit from Amazon’s automated protections that use information about brands to proactively remove suspected infringing or inaccurate content.
Brands can also find and report suspected infringement through more powerful tools and can gain greater influence over product information displayed on Amazon’s product detail pages so customers can make confident, informed purchasing decisions on Amazon.
“Great ideas are the core of every good business. Turning those ideas into a reality relies on IP. Understanding, protecting and getting the most out of your IP is a crucial ingredient of success. A good IP strategy should sit at the heart of every good business plan,” said Pippa Hall, Director of Innovation and Chief Economist, from the UK’s Intellectual Property Office.
Participating Law Firms Meet Amazon Standards
Amazon has selected participating IP law firms based on their experience, expertise, and customer service.
They will support SMBs with all aspects of the trademark filing process, such as researching a brand to see if anyone else is already using it and providing tailored advice on trademark applications. Over one hundred trademark experts across Europe have signed up for the program.
IP Accelerator was launched in the United States in 2019. Since the launch, Amazon has connected SMBs with participating IP law firms, resulting in 6,000 trademark applications submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office.
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