Amazon has now released its Amazon IP Accelerator. It connects businesses with IP law firms who can provide trademark and copyright services. I assume patent services and other practice areas may be added in the future. For now, however, they are concentrating on two areas that directly affect sellers – trademarks and copyrights.
How Does This Work?
Amazon is getting into the legal service provider area. It is first using its client base of business accounts to connect with various Intellectual Property law firms. The IP Accelerator is a free program. Amazon does not charge a fee to connect with law firms. When a client selects a firm, they work with and pay the law firm directly.
How Does This Fit Into Amazon’s Seller Program?
Overall, Amazon may decide to keep it as a feature offering for their own sellers, similar to the way in which Amazon Prime keeps adding new services to keep you as a Prime member. The more services that Amazon gives to its sellers, the better their overall platform.
They could theoretically open this up for more competition in the future and take some type of directory fee for listing. They could ultimately decide to in-house this too in the future, if it’s worthwhile.
What Does This Mean to Your Law Firm?
Is this putting lawyers out of business? No. In this case, Amazon is partnering with various law firms around the globe to offer business services to Amazon’s clients as per one expert from the cobos law firm. It appears they view this as a feature set similar to Accounting, Cataloging, Compliance, Imaging, Taxes, and other services that Amazon has created for its sellers. These are tools that allow sellers to sell more and protect their brand.
But What About the Data?
I would imagine Amazon is currently evaluating how lawyer services could be done better and is definitely gathering data on whether this is worthwhile. If they see an opportunity, then they could go with an in-house team or specific partners. This would be similar to how several products on Amazon are now offered as “house” brands. In certain areas, Amazon could theoretically learn to automate more services too, allowing for more routine copyright or trademark filings (although presumably, they would still require attorney review). But all of that is theoretical at this stage. Right now, it’s just a lawyer referral service.
What Are the Rates?
Amazon has pre-negotiated rates for legal services for all areas. Some examples:
A high-level brand search of Trademark Office records for relevant pending applications or registrations: $500
A comprehensive brand review, including Trademark Office records and unregistered uses: $1,800
Filing a US trademark application: $600 (plus government fees)
Getting Signed Up as a Partner Firm
How Does it Work Now?
Pretty simple. An Amazon business selects:
- The area in which they are located:United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, and the UK, to start.
- Where they want to sell: United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and the UK). For some reason this list is shorter.
- Service: Choose Trademark or Copyright.
- Local Providers: Work with local providers or not.
- Provider Location: Choose them in the country you selected or not.
- Provider Language: Select from various languages, depending on the country selected.
- Average Customer Review: 1 to 5 Stars (not sure who would want a 1-star attorney, but alas).
Once you select your provider, you can then contact them directly.
Who is This For?
At first glance, you need to be an Amazon “Seller” to use the portal. That means you need to be in their seller program where you pay $39.99 a month + additional fees to list products. However, Amazon does allow for you to contact them directly and ask for a law firm using this portal page. It is a bit funky and the only way to know that is by reading the FAQs in detail. If you try to contact the attorney using the search tool, then it asks you to login as a seller. It would be better if they indicated that you can also choose not to login and contact them using the form.
Disclaimer by Amazon
Please be aware that Amazon is providing these listings solely as an informational resource. If you choose to retain a service provider, you will be contracting directly with the provider who will be providing services to you at your direction. Amazon does not endorse any service provider or its services. Any prices shown above in a converted currency are presented for your reference only, and the service providers may charge you in a different currency or amount, plus any applicable taxes.
Picky Logo Issue?
On an odd note, the responsive design of the portal is funky with stretched logos at certain viewpoints. All the banner images stretch…a lot. This could be easily corrected, but on tablet/mobile the view is a bit funky.