Amazon comes up with IP Accelerator Program in India
With the booming e-commerce industry, in the first move, e-commerce giant Amazon launched its Intellectual Property Accelerator (IP Accelerator) program in India. With more sellers, who themselves are the brand owners, on the website; this program will assist those sellers in providing any IP issues by connecting them with IP specialists and legal firms. As per the statement released, These sellers, including small and medium-sized sellers, can choose to engage with these IP law firms to help secure trademarks, protect their brands, and tackle infringement, on "Amazon.in" and Amazon websites globally. The pilot launch of this program was done last year and seeing a positive response, Amazon launched the full-fledged program now.
[Image Source: Amazon]
India is not the first country where Amazon launches this program. This program is already available in the US, Europe, and Canada, as per Mary Beth Westmoreland, vice-president, technology, brand protection at Amazon. In the US, it was launched in 2019, and after this; Amazon launched it in Europe, Canada, Mexico, with India being the latest. "...we are excited to offer the advantages of this program to our Indian businesses... Our Intellectual Property Accelerator Program enables businesses to protect their intellectual property, which in turn helps to ensure an authentic shopping experience for everyone," Westmoreland added.
Pranav Bhasin, Amazon India Director (MSME and Selling Partner Experience) said in a statement that, today, over 8.5 lakh sellers are registered on Amazon in India, and we remain committed to bringing new tools, technology, and innovation to help them grow. The launch of the IP Accelerator program in India will support lakhs of sellers, especially small and medium-sized sellers with nascent brands, in establishing IP protection. However, the process can be complex and time-consuming, leading to a lot of businesses dropping off along the way, he added.
Talking about the period it takes for a TM to get it registered, the statement said that the process of obtaining a trademark registration with the Intellectual Property India, Trademarks Registry (IN TMR) 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 Program 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, it added. "Amazon.in" empowers brands through programs like Brand Registry, Transparency, and Project Zero, which use machine learning and automated systems to weed out potential counterfeits from the marketplace, enabling brands to protect their intellectual property rights, added.
Good move by Amazon
Undoubtedly, this move by Amazon is quite interesting reflecting the intent to capture the market at its maximum potential. With a huge economy, amounting to trillions, the IP accelerator program can be one of the best moves by Amazon to penetrate deeper into the market. Amazon has been into various litigations concerning concerns arising out of intermediary obligation and rights over trademark. Such dispute and jurisprudence are in an earlier stage and taking such programs at the ground level will be a first move to lessen down the future litigations. With the businesses, not getting serious about the IP concerns, this move will be a major hit for businesses specifically in the area of small and mid-level business. This move undoubtedly will create some difficulty for the businesses having no such registration of their brand but gradually it will incentivize them for filing and protecting the brand name.
Mostly those small businesses don’t have access to a law firm and therefore they are unable to seek protection for their IP. Not only for the sellers at Amazon, but it will also help the businesses at large in creating effective awareness about using the brand name and getting it registered. The pre-emptive move will be beneficial for small and medium enterprises.