Brand Registries and Trademarks: By Christina D. Ralston & Chad W. Swantz

Registered trademarks have always been critical in growing and protecting brand identities, but with new intellectual property management platforms like Amazon Brand Registry and Walmart Brand Portal, registration is ever more important.

In the last two and a half years, for better or worse, the world has shifted much of its shopping habits to online spaces. In fact, according to a survey published by the U.S. Department of Commerce, retail e-commerce sales now account for roughly 15% of the total retail sales in the United States. Such an increase in online sales represent huge opportunities for vendors, and sites like Amazon and Walmart have made it easier than ever for third parties to sell their products on well-known platforms.

However, with the benefits of e-commerce come its downsides: counterfeits and fake goods. In 2020, Amazon reported blocking 10 billion fake listings on its site and in 2021, the company disposed of more than 3 million counterfeit items. For consumers, this is dangerous: untested and shoddily-manufactured products can pose serious health and safety risks. For vendors, counterfeits can lead to infringement of intellectual property rights, a decrease in customer confidence in a brand, and an overall decrease in sales.

Luckily, in recent years, online retail sites have been working with vendors to help tackle this problem. In 2017, Amazon launched Amazon Brand Registry, a free platform that “gives brands the ability to manage and protect their brand and intellectual property rights on Amazon” by accessing a dashboard with information regarding their brand identity on Amazon. Similarly, Walmart Brand Portal, launched in 2021, allows vendors to manage their brand identity for their Walmart product listings in one convenient place.

On top of these protections, these brand platforms offer other perks. For example, Amazon Brand Registry members are eligible for a variety of services, including, but not limited to: Amazon Stores, which create an online “immersive shopping experience” and on average lead to higher attributed sales per visitor; A+ Content, which allows Amazon stores to enhance product listings with extra text and higher-quality images; and Amazon Brand Analytics, which gives sellers insights into key sales metrics.

Joining these brand platforms is a relatively easy process for sellers. Of critical importance for both Amazon Brand Registry and Walmart Brand Portal is that members must provide a pending or registered and active text- or image-based trademark in order to join. Once registered, sellers can gain the full benefit of these services.

While federal trademark registration has always been critical in growing and protecting brand identities, given the unique opportunities IP management platforms present, the benefits are now even greater. A registered trademark not only legally protects a seller; it also gives them access to an array of tools to improve a seller’s brand and business.

If you are interested in joining either of these platforms or another, but have yet to register your trademark, please contact us via our website or at  (402) 496-0300 and we would be happy to discuss how we can help protect your intellectual property rights.

Authors: Christina D. Ralston and Chad W. Swantz

Suiter Swantz IP is a full-service intellectual property law firm providing client-centric patent, trademark, and copyright services. If you need assistance with an intellectual property matter and would like to speak with one of our attorneys, please contact us at