Focus On

Amazon launches IP Accelerator in Canada to help small businesses

Monday, April 26, 2021 @ 2:01 PM | By John Chunn


Amazon announced it has launched the Intellectual Property Accelerator (IP Accelerator) in Canada, making it easier and more cost effective for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to obtain trademarks, protect their brands and tackle infringing goods both in Amazon’s stores and the broader marketplace.

According to Amazon’s news release, available to any brand selling in Amazon’s stores, IP Accelerator directly connects Canadian SMB owners with a curated network of local law firms charging reduced, pre-negotiated rates on key services, giving SMBs access to expert legal and general IP advice that may otherwise be cost-prohibitive or hard to find. To date, the list of participating firms includes Bereskin & Parr LLP, Brouillette Legal Inc., Chari Prenol Slaney & Turco, Clancy PC, JZC Intellectual Property Law, Kestenberg Siegal Lipkus LLP, Palmer IP and Ridout & Maybee LLP.

“More than 30,000 Canada-based third-party sellers have grown their business with Amazon, reaching millions of customers while grossing more than $2 billion on Amazon’s stores around the world. IP Accelerator allows our SMB selling partners to build on that success by protecting their valuable IP and setting them up for long-term growth. Establishing and protecting IP rights are essential for businesses of every size, and Amazon is pleased to introduce a new tool that provides access to specialized expertise to help protect brands,” Mary Beth Westmoreland, vice-president, brand protection at Amazon, said in the news release.

IP rights are vital for businesses to stop bad actors from copying and infringing on their ideas. However, filing for IP protection can be daunting and time-consuming for SMBs: individual trademark applications to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office can take up to 28 months. IP Accelerator will facilitate the process by connecting SMBs with lawyers who are skilled in drafting trademark applications and can help remove common obstacles that could otherwise further delay the issuance of a registration.

IP Accelerator was launched in the United States in 2019 and has since expanded to Europe, Japan, India, and now Canada. Since the launch, more than 6,000 trademark applications from participating brands have been submitted to trademark offices.

Amazon does not charge selling partners to use IP Accelerator — SMBs pay their law firm directly for the work performed at reduced, pre-negotiated rates. Businesses interested in IP Accelerator can visit here. Law firms that are interested in participating in the program should contact IP AcceleratorWaitList@amazon.com.