Intellectual Property Law for Amazon Sellers: Licensing Agreements Leading to Success

Business law for Amazon sellers: know the basics of intellectual property, licensing, and the assignment of intellectual property rights.

If you’re an Amazon seller and you don’t own a brand that you’d like to sell, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a deal with the rights owner for a licensing fee or for that brand to assign their intellectual property rights to you. It is a simple contract between you and the rights owner. And many brands will want to have these agreements because while you’re awesome at selling, the brand may not be – they may want you to sell their product and manage their entire brand on Amazon.

Trademark and Copyright Registration:

If you’re an AMZ seller, your trademark should be obtained through Amazon’s IP accelerator program. By doing that, you get brand registry almost immediately & nobody else can do that. So use Amazon’s lawyers to get your trademark through the IP accelerator program. We don’t even do it anymore because it’s so much better for you to use Amazon’s lawyers. So you get brand registry right away.

Copyright registration is not necessarily required. You own interest in your copyright, whether you file for those rights or not. But your ability to enforce copyright is different based on whether you’ve actually registered or not. It’s a pretty easy process. Most people can register their copyright interests themselves. I don’t believe you need to hire a lawyer, but if you want us to handle it for you, we certainly can.

Distribution and Authorization Agreements:

Distribution agreements are very similar to the licensing agreements we talked about. You’re not necessarily getting their intellectual property rights, but you are getting the brand’s permission to distribute them on whatever platforms your contract entails. Amazon doesn’t enforce distribution agreements, but if you’re able to get a distribution agreement, either an exclusive or a semi-exclusive, it certainly protects you a bit, especially from a brand making complaints against you.

Authorization agreements are also similar to distribution agreements, which are similar to licensing agreements, but the authorization, the authority to sell, is often more limited in that contract than a broader distribution agreement might be.

If you need to know more about these areas of business law, as they specifically pertain to sales on Amazon or growing your business on Amazon, contact us for a consultation. David Miller leads a team devoted to business law for Amazon sellers. If you want to learn more, give us a call 1-877-9-SELLER.