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Amazon starts IP accelerator to help Indian businesses protect their brands

E-commerce giant Amazon has launched the intellectual property (IP) accelerator programme in India. It is offering sellers — who are also brand owners (including small and medium-sized sellers) — easy access to services from trusted IP experts and law firms. Businesses may choose to engage with these IP law firms to help secure trademarks, protect their brands, and tackle infringement, on Amazon India and Amazon websites globally.

“Establishing IP rights is essential for businesses of all sizes to differentiate their products, earn customer trust, and grow their business. However, the process can be complex and time-consuming, leading to a lot of businesses dropping off along the way,” said Pranav Bhasin, director, MSME and selling partner experience, Amazon India, adding, “We are excited to launch the IP accelerator programme in India, to support sellers, especially small- and medium-sized sellers with nascent brands, in establishing IP protection.”

Bhasin said over 850,000 sellers are registered on Amazon in India, and the firm remains committed to bringing new tools, technology, and innovation to help them grow.

“Our accelerator programme enables businesses to protect their IP, which, in turn, helps to ensure an authentic shopping experience for everyone,” said Mary Beth Westmoreland, vice-president, technology, brand protection, Amazon, adding, “IP accelerator is already available in the US, Europe, and Canada, and we are excited to offer the advantages of this programme to our Indian businesses.”

The process of obtaining a trademark registration with the Intellectual Property India, Trade Marks Registry can run up to as long as 18-24 months. Brand owners, especially from small and medium businesses, may find it time-consuming and complex to go through the process on their own.

The IP accelerator programme helps them navigate this process by connecting businesses with trusted IP law firms that are subject matter experts in this field with experience in drafting trademark and other IP registration applications. Businesses can engage with these firms to overcome common hurdles that could otherwise delay the issuance of a registration.

Businesses also have the option to avail of Amazon India’s brand protection services to effectively protect and manage their brand and IP on the marketplace before their trademark is officially registered.

Amazon India empowers brands through programmes like brand registry, transparency, and project zero, which use machine learning and automated systems to weed out potential counterfeits from the marketplace. Amazon said this is enabling brands to protect their IP rights.

The IP accelerator was launched in the US in 2019, and has since expanded to Europe, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and now India. The programme was pilot-launched in India in 2020, and has received positive feedback from businesses. Sellers with a new business set-up and young brand owners are particularly drawn to the convenience of finding easy access to trusted legal services.

To date, six IP law firms have signed up to be service providers as part of the IP accelerator programme to support sellers on Amazon India, including Hasan and Singh, LexOrbis, Sujata Chaudhri IP Attorneys, Amitabha Sen & Co., Remfry & Sagar, and H K Acharya & Company.

“We are happy to be associated with Amazon’s IP accelerator programme as a selected firm,” said Sujata Chaudhri, founder, Sujata Chaudhri IP Attorneys, adding, “We are sure this programme will create an excellent platform for small, medium, and start-up firms in India to get connected with a proven and trusted network of IP law firms in India, thereby giving access to various brand protection tools. We look forward to an engaging association with sellers on Amazon India.”

The IP accelerator can be accessed by sellers on Amazon India’s service provider network (SPN), offering the benefit of availing of the service at a single place. Sellers do not incur any additional cost in accessing IP accelerator firm listings on SPN and can choose to engage with law firms directly and independently for services of their choice at mutually agreed-to terms. Business Standard

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