EXPOSURE ON AMAZON CAN MEAN COPYCATS
Are you wondering, “Do I Need To Copyright My Brand On Amazon?” as you start up an e-commerce business? If so, your plans to market on Amazon are fantastic and you’re already putting your brand one step ahead of your competitors by thinking about how to protect this hard work from copycats.
With over 40% of e-commerce sales taking place on Amazon and over 200 million site visitors per month, the benefits of selling on Amazon seem obvious. Brand exposure and sales await you, but what about the risk? After all, this exposure can both boost your sales and copycats who would like to capitalize on your brand’s popularity. What’s the best route for a business owner who wants to safeguard their brand and minimize their risk?
Taking the step with some proactive legal protection is the best place to start. While you may be considering copyrighting for your brand, it’s important to see if that’s actually the right way to safeguard what you’ve built. If you want to stop another brand from using your brand name, logo, slogan, or product name, you should get legal protection through trademarks, not copyrights.
COPYRIGHTS VS. TRADEMARKS FOR AMAZON STOREFRONTS
Now copyrights and trademarks both provide legal protection, just for different areas of your brand and what you create.
Trademarks are used for protecting your business identity and help consumers tell the difference between your business and someone else’s business. A trademark can protect your business’s name, logo, slogan, or product name. You have to register this with the government in order to have protection from copycats. Amazon will not remove or penalize other brands who copy you unless what is being copied is trademarked.
Copyrights are used to protect creative work, like a work of art, piece of music, video, or written content. It doesn’t protect the business the creative work lives under. Unlike trademarks where you have to register them with the government, copyrights are automatically granted when you create your work. You can take further steps to register your copyrights with the government though, and we recommend doing that for any creative work you are planning to sell. (Remember, exposure can lead to other people imitating you. When that happens, you want to have legal recourse to stop them!)
TRADEMARKS ARE THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR BRANDS ON AMAZON
Because of how much exposure your brand will receive on Amazon, you should trademark your brand’s name, logo, slogan, and any product names. When you do this, you’ll be able to have a straight path to reporting any other sellers imitating you. As we mentioned above, Amazon will not take action on your complaint unless you’ve uploaded that government registration of your trademarks. This makes trademarking even more essential in your business plan and definitely answers the question, “Do I Need To Copyright My Brand On Amazon?”.
Looking for an expert to guide you through trademarking? We’re here to help.
*This post is for general education and does not initiate an attorney-client relationship with us. We always recommend consulting a trademark attorney for your brand’s specific needs.*