Amazon launches IP Accelerator program in India
14 July 2021
Amazon has recently launched its Intellectual Property Accelerator (IP Accelerator) program in India, which will give sellers who are also brand owners access to IP specialists and legal firms. In a statement, these sellers, including small and medium-sized businesses can choose to work with these IP law firms on Amazon.in and Amazon websites throughout the world to help obtain trademarks defend their brands, and combat infringement.
According to Mudit Kaushik, Counsel, ZeusIP Advocates LLP in India, Amazon’s fervent expansion and fund pumping into India clearly reflects the e-commerce giant’s intent to capture the Indian market further.
“India’s 3 trillion worth economy could be one of the reasons Amazon has considered setting up the IP accelerator here,” he says. “In addition, there is a serious concern over intermediary obligations and obligations of a marketplace to safeguard its seller’s and vendor’s rights in India, which is still at a very nascent stage. E-commerce platforms such as Amazon are perhaps looking to take prospective and pre-emptive measures to ensure that disputes between and against its sellers and other brands are kept to a minimum.”
He adds that this effort by Amazon is definitely going to have a positive impact on the businesses in India since IP rights are not often protected by all businesses, and that IP protection is seldom given priority by small and mid-level businesses in India.
“There is little awareness amongst smaller businesses, and this initiative by Amazon will create a great impact,” he says.
“Amazon has become a highly prominent and dominant e-commerce company in India. Their efforts to promote the importance of protecting a brand name, whether it is by making trademark application filing receipts and registration certificates mandatory for sellers or by setting up this IP Accelerator is rather commendable. This effort might create some chaos for businesses that do not have brand names registered or even applied for but is surely going to help them incentivize them towards filing trademark applications and protecting their brand name.”
Vasundhara Shankar, Managing Partner, Verum Legal in India adds that Amazon is merely an intermediary platform for businesses that need IP filing and registration services and pushes businesses to do their own due diligence and negotiations to take advantage of this platform.
“In fact, Amazon’s IP accelerator will prove to be extremely beneficial for businesses that have little to no access to law firms and want to seek IP protection,” she says. With this programme, Indian businesses will definitely become more conscious about protecting their IP and will be more mindful about using brand names that might be infringing on another party’s rights. This move is going to boost the importance of IP protection amongst businesses. In fact, Amazon also mentions on its website that businesses might go beyond IP protection and also seek other legal help from the listed law firms - and one can't help but think, could this be Amazon’s foray into the legal tech space? Legal Tech space in India has seen a wide gap and in fact, a massive demand. With India having a mammoth pendency of cases to be decided, businesses and individuals will definitely see a respite if Amazon chooses to venture into the legal tech space and bring about innovations, with its expansive resource and user base.”
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