Trademarks for Amazon Private Label Sellers (Anthony Famularo 2 of 2)
British Amazon Seller · 20 minutes ·

Trademarks for Amazon Private Label Sellers (Anthony Famularo 2 of 2)

Today on the podcast we have Anthony Famularo from Rosenbaum Famularo Lawyers, the Amazon Seller Lawyers. We are going to be discussing trademarks for Amazon.

A lot of people have fear around legal issues because they are important topics. Most of us either sit in worry or duck our heads into the sand because we don’t know what to do. To help with this in one area where many Amazon sellers have fear, Anthony is here today to talk about patents and trademarks for Amazon.
Intellectual Property: Trademarks, Copyright, and Patents
Anthony finds people generally understand copyright and to a certain extent, trademarks. However, the most common mistake he sees is people confusing trademarks with patents. People think that if they register their own trademark and private label their product that they are protected from patent law, but that’s not true. Trademarks are used to identify the source or quality of the goods and are often about the branding.

A patent is a government-granted right. It’s the right to exclude other people from advertising, offering for sale or importing your invention without your approval. There are utility patents and design patents. The utility patent covers what you would think of as an invention or the useful part of an invention. A design patent covers the appearance or ornamental, non-functional aspect of an invention. To get the most protection people will usually try to register both at the same time.

For copyright, you can’t copyright the idea. But if you put it into a tangible medium—whether you write it or record it—you can. Once it’s in that tangible medium you can protect it by registering a copyright. With a patent, you can protect the actual use of it, and it can be the idea. If properly drafted it protects your idea for that invention or product.
An Example of Utility vs. Design Patent
Let’s say you are looking at a phone case that has a light on it to light up your pictures and make your selfies better. The use of the light on the phone case would be protected by a utility patent. Then the design patent could be used to protect the appearance of it.

One product can get protection from utility patent and design patent. Getting a design patent is much simpler in that it usually just has one claim. Usually is just illustrations of the product. It is much faster and easier to get protection for your products through a design patent. The utility patent is much more complex, much harder to define. It’s harder to find it there’s already a patent that exists and then if there isn’t. It’s harder to construct your own application for it.
Clearance Searches
Anthony recommends looking into this for new private label products before spending money on manufacturing. The first step is to do a clearance search.

Start with your own research via the United States Patent and Trademark Office at where you can search for patents and trademarks. That is the starting point in terms of doing your own research for your trademarks for Amazon.

Your own research will help you to identify whether or not you should have a cursory or preliminary search done. If you do, and that preliminary search is successful then you can make a business decision as to whether or not to make sure before you go any further. That’s when you do a more extensive search. At that point, Anthony says you have to hire someone to make sure because you need to find out early whether or not it’s worth it to go further with your private label product.

Anthony advises even if you can’t afford a comprehensive search, have at least a preliminary search done. He recommends spending a little bit, under $1000. It’s worth that investment and everyone should do that at least.

You have to weigh up for yourself the risk vs reward. People want to put in $3000 and get out $10,000, but the reality is you could put in $3000 and end up with $0 if you go really wrong.

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