SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) launched the Intellectual Property Accelerator (IP Accelerator) in Canada, making it easier and more cost effective for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to obtain trademarks, protect their brands and tackle infringing goods both in Amazon’s stores and the broader marketplace.
Available to any brand selling in Amazon’s stores, IP Accelerator directly connects Canadian SMB owners with a curated network of local law firms charging reduced, pre-negotiated rates on key services, giving SMBs access to expert legal and general IP advice that may otherwise be cost-prohibitive or hard to find. To date, the list of participating firms includes Bereskin & Parr LLP, Brouillette Legal Inc., Chari Prenol Slaney & Turco, Clancy PC, JZC Intellectual Property Law, Kestenberg Siegal Lipkus LLP, Palmer IP, and Ridout & Maybee LLP.
“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,” said Mary Beth Westmoreland, VP, Brand Protection at Amazon.
IP rights are vital for businesses to stop bad actors from copying and infringing on their ideas. However, filing for IP protection can be daunting and time-consuming for SMBs: individual trademark applications to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office can take up to 28 months. IP Accelerator will facilitate the process by connecting SMBs with lawyers who are skilled in drafting trademark applications and can help remove common obstacles that could otherwise further delay the issuance of a registration.
IP Accelerator provides SMBs with early access to Amazon’s brand protection tools that help them protect their brand and IP even before their trademark is officially registered. Amazon’s Brand Registry is a free service that provides SMBs with powerful tools that help them manage and protect their brand and IP rights in Amazon stores, with more than 350,000 brands enrolled to date. Participants benefit from Amazon’s automated, data-driven protections that proactively remove suspected infringing or inaccurate content as well as tools that enable brands to report suspected infringement. Enrollment in Brand Registry also provides brands with greater influence over product information displayed on Amazon’s product detail pages to help customers make confident, informed purchasing decisions.
IP Accelerator was launched in the United States in 2019, and has since expanded to Europe, Japan, India, and now Canada. Since the launch, more than 6,000 trademark applications from participating brands have been submitted to trademark offices including the US Patent and Trademark Office, the European Union Intellectual Property Office, the UK Intellectual Property Office, the India Trade Marks Registry, the Japan Patent Office and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
Amazon does not charge selling partners to use IP Accelerator – SMBs pay their law firm directly for the work performed at reduced, pre-negotiated rates. Businesses interested in IP Accelerator can visit http://brandservices.amazon.ca/ipaccelerator. Law firms that are interested in participating in the program should contact IPAcceleratorWaitList@amazon.com.
Jennifer Pratt, Founder and Owner of Seeding Square, the colour-coded seed spacer for vegetable gardens, said: “For any small business, but particularly for one like mine, whose invention is becoming increasingly popular, there is a significant risk of competitors copying or stealing your hard work and capitalizing on your growth. As a small business owner, I have many urgent day-to-day priorities that can prevent me from pursuing complicated matters like trademark protection. I am encouraged to see initiatives like IP Accelerator, which connects businesses like mine with specialized legal expertise at a reduced cost.”
Antonio Turco, Founding Partner of CPST Law LLP, said: “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.”
Paula Clancy, Founder and Managing Attorney at Clancy PC, said: “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.”
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.
Appendix: Additional Law Firm Quotes
Janice Bereskin, Partner at Bereskin & Parr LLP, said: “Trademark protection is important for businesses from start-ups to SMEs to multinationals. Bereskin & Parr welcomes the opportunity to work with Amazon’s IP Accelerator to assist companies with their trademark protection in Canada and facilitate participation with Amazon’s Brand Registry program.”
Jerry Chen, Founder, JZC Intellectual Property Law, said: “We are pleased to be selected as a partner firm for the Amazon IP Accelerator Program. The IP Accelerator program directly aligns with our firm's goal of providing clients with quality, practical and cost-effective legal services in the area of brand protection. We firmly believe that the Amazon Brand Registry, in combination with the Canadian trademark system, will provide online merchants, in particular Amazon sellers, with powerful tools to combat counterfeiting and infringement of their rights. In the rapidly developing world of e-commerce, trademark rights are more important than ever, and we are happy to work with Amazon to ensure that these rights are properly protected. We can assist clients in filing Canadian trademark applications and help them get enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry through the IP Accelerator Program.”
David Lipkus Partner at Kestenberg Siegal Lipkus LLP, said: “I have dedicated my career to helping brands enforce their rights, and I look forward to helping educate SMBs about the importance of IP and taking the appropriate steps to protect their brands early on in their growth. With World Intellectual Property Day taking place on April 26th, there is no better time to take the time to understand the importance of trademark protection. I look forward to helping SMBs prioritize IP, and strengthen this valuable asset.”
Dean Palmer, Managing Partner of Palmer IP, Canada, said: “Our Canadian team in Vancouver, Ottawa, and Toronto welcomes the Amazon IP Accelerator program to Canada. There is now no need to wait years for a trademark registration to access the Amazon Brand Registry enforcement and brand profile tools. Businesses selling in Canada can join the Brand Registry within 14 days through the IPA program, and receive a discounted rate, from vetted firms, to ultimately achieve trademark registrations.”
Robert Brouillette, Founding Partner of Brouillette Legal Inc., said: “Amazon’s IP Accelerator will be very beneficial to small businesses to quickly gain access to the Amazon Brand Registry at the filing stage of a trademark application in Canada. Furthermore, the resulting registered trademark will benefit the small businesses by becoming uncontestable after 5 years of the registration, by creating trademark right presumptions across Canada and by facilitating enforcement and preventing infringement. Brouillette Legal is proud to be part of the Amazon’s IP Accelerator to help businesses grow through the creation of IP assets.”