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How to Use Trademarks to Protect Your Amazon Private Label Business

By Eric Perrott

Trademarks play an important role in your private label success on Amazon. Here's how to pick a strong trademark, when to register, and how to enforce it.

How to Use Trademarks to Protect Your Amazon Private Label Business

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Denty

I have done this. And the crazy part is someone who I thought was a close friend decided to copy all my listings and compete against me. Now they are confusing my customers by using my trademarked name in their copied listings.

Eric Perrott, Esq.

Replying to Denty

We’ve seen Amazon listing hijacking come in many forms – from complete strangers to known competitors to even former co-workers. The key is that every time an unauthorized company uses a trademark that is likely to confuse a consumer, the more likely that its actions may damage the trademark. If you want to chat about your specific case, shoot me an email at eric [at] gerbenlawfirm.com so that we can set up a time to discuss.

Ree Klein

Quite by accident I discovered that a company had filed a trademark application that used a word in my company and product names. They made it past the objection period before I became aware of the filing. They are still a 1B and in the six-month period allowed for filing their 1A status (in use). I filed my own application for the same mark along with all of the documentation showing that I have been using the mark nationwide for a few months prior to their application. I will have to wait until their mark is issued and then file… Read more »

Eric Perrott, Esq.

Replying to Ree Klein

Hi Ree,

Agreed – we always recommend that our client’s file as soon as possible under a 1(b) “intent-to-use” and then carefully monitor the record for potential snags. As you probably know, 1(b) application can file up to five extensions (meaning that they can reserve rights up the three years in advance – provided they have a “bona fide” intent to use the mark when they filed.

We may be able to help if we can learn more about your case – shoot me an e-mail at eric [at] gerbenlawfirm.com if you’d like to discuss your specific case.

Aseller

Thank you for your nice Article.

However, filling for trademarks is a costly for small sellers, or starters. Any suggestions how to protect our listing while in the launching stages:

for exe:, if we own the domain name for this trademark, would that serve as proof that we started this earlier?

Eric Perrott, Esq.

Replying to Aseller

Thanks for your comment! Generally, owning a domain name does not give you trademark rights in that name. There are some limited exceptions, but generally the only way to obtain trademark rights in the United States is through actual sales to real customers. If an Amazon seller is in the planning stages (and have concrete plans to begin use of the trademark) you can file an “intent-to-use” trademark and reserve rights for up to three years (with a fee for every six month extension, so the cost can add up). I cannot stress enough the importance of a comprehensive search… Read more »

Emilia

Hello,
I have a private label lipstick, still in initial stage. I want to find out how can I TM the name. Do I Need a FDA approval? i need Help

Eric Perrott

Replying to Emilia

Hi Emilia!

From a trademark perspective, you may be able to “reserve” rights now with an “intent-to-use” trademark application. This will allow you to gain the earliest possible federal priority date while you prepare to launch your brand.

Our firm does not offer advice on FDA compliance or approval matters.

Shoot me an e-mail at eric [at] gerbenlawfirm.com or call me at 202.780.9191 and I would be happy to discuss!

Martha

How much are your services for a comprehensive search? Do they include searching for more than one variation of the name you intend to trademark?

Eric Perrott

Replying to Martha

Hi Martha!

Shoot me an e-mail at eric [at] gerbenlawfirm.com or call me at 202.780.9191 and I would be happy to discuss!

Ashley Schaeffer

Great article! This really has helped me to feel good about the store front/business name I’ve developed. When private labeling products, if you know a trademarked business sells the same/similar silicone small product am I able to outsource this product and sell it under my label? For example, countless companies label and sell neoprene tablet sleeves under their packaging and brand name. If I find a generic product, not brand driven, but another company is selling it am I legally safe to outsource and package/brand it for my business?

Eric Perrott

Replying to Ashley Schaeffer

Hi Ashley, Thanks for your comment! There are a few things to consider here – are there trademarks on the packaging or product, are their copyrighted designs/text on the packaging or products, and is the design patented. I’d be happy to discuss – please shoot me at e-mail at eric [at] gerbenlawfirm.com to discuss your specific details! Trademarks are brand-names and identifiers – anything that, when you look at a product, identifies a specific company (think the Adidas logo, but also think of the three stripes on the side of Adidas shoes – both can be protected). If a product… Read more »

Ashley

Replying to Eric Perrott

Thank you Eric,

Email has been sent!

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