How to look up a trademark with United States Patent and Trademark Office

Getting a trademark is more important to your business than ever. A trademark protects your products and your brand. Without it, you have no recourse to another person or company ripping off your stuff.

Click here to learn how we can help you protect your brand and take control of your Amazon listings with our trademark services.

Today it’s never been easier to order something off Alibaba Express and start selling an item. We live in the Amazon private label age. If you spend time and money investing in a new idea and don’t get a trademark or patent in place, someone can start selling your exact product and piggy back off your success.

Sometimes even on your own Amazon listings they’ll show up with knockoffs. That not only damages your brand and product, but it could put pressure on your pricing and hurt your margins.

Trademark leads to Brand Registry on Amazon

Having a trademark allows you to get brand registry on Amazon, and you can report products and the sellers of those products for infringing on your trademark. The Amazon brand registry also allows you to build enhanced content, advertise headline ads, open a storefront with a vanity url of www.amazon.com/(your_brand_name_here), and better control your data.

It’s easier to get a trademark than a patent, so at bare minimum get a trademark in place for your brand. Trademarks currently heavily impact success on Amazon. In the near future they could impact other marketplaces and websites as well.

This video walks through how to look up a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Which is a starting point for figuring out whether a trademark is in place for your brand name.

  1. Go to https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/search-trademark-database
  2. Click “Search Trademarks” (lands you at http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=4810:tt6qdr.1.1)
  3. Click “Basic Word Mark Search (New User)”
  4. Type the name of the brand or trademark in, it is case sensitive.
  5. Find the live trademark in question to find the needed information.

You will need to do this if you’re trying to figure out if a brand has a trademark, whether you want to create a trademark, of if you have an Amazon account and want to file for Brand Registry but are unsure if a trademark exists.

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10 Reasons to NOT Launch Amazon & 10 Reasons to Launch

Sometimes I take a consulting opportunity where the company just wants my expert opinion. And even though I’m an avid fan of using marketplaces, in fact I literally said, “If you’re not on Amazon you’re irrelevant…” there are some risks and challenges to know about before launching. So I present to you, 10 Reasons to NOT Launch Amazon.

#1 Execution

  1. Every eCommerce opportunity has an opportunity cost. The biggest one for marketplaces comes from execution. It takes a lot of time dedicated to an idea to see it to fruition, and this non-unique argument can be largely applied to the unknowns. For most companies who are deciding to launch marketplaces for the first time, that’s an unknown.
  2. Requires multiple departments to be successful.
  3. Requires feeds.
  4. Requires time investment.

#2 Nexus

  1. This is not an actual risk… yet. However, Amazon is self policing themselves at this time. This will become a risk when it becomes a risk for everyone. That is, when the internet becomes taxed by the state or federal government in all 50 states.
  2. There is conflicting “grey” information on the interwebs. Your accountant may Google something and claim that nexus will exist if you sell on Amazon. Or if you sell on Amazon Prime. So while there isn’t a risk, there’s a perception of a risk. And it may require internal education to pass through this challenge.

#3 Branding

  1. If you could buy Victoria’s Secret at Walmart, would it be sexy? Probably not. Some brands may not want to be associated to the ongoing brand found on the marketplace. This might seem obvious, but you don’t sell clothing on Newegg. Similarly, technology pieces like a video card, aren’t the best sellers on Sears. And demographically, maybe you have a luxury brand, and part of the lure to your brand is the sales process. On a marketplace, you lose some control. This could impact your brand.
  2. For most companies, there’s no brand impact. But it could DEFINE your brand. It could force your company to become more efficient with cost and shipping times. It could require you to improve your quality control, and improve your customer service response rates.
  1. Competition
  2. Margin / Fees
  3. Data Management (Building the Feed)
  4. Warehousing & Inventory Management
  5. Ops – Order Management
  6. Customer Service Impacts
  7. Shipping
  8. Amazon’s SEO on Google
  9. Amazon’s PLA version of your product
  10. Prime Risks
  11. Wholesale Prevention (Future Risk)
  12. Time Involved – Opportunity Cost
We can have the January 8th call focus on benefits/opportunities.
  1. Your SEO on Amazon
  2. Brand Exposure
  3. Unique products thrive on Amazon
  4. Revenue
  5. New Customers
  6. Additional Transactions / Growth
  7. Prime Benefits Including Faster Shipping
  8. Free Shipping Benefits
  9. Benefits From Building Feed Improve Database
  10. Other Marketplaces such as eBay/Sears/Rakuten
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