Amazon has launched its Intellectual Property Accelerator (IP Accelerator) programme for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Canada.

IP Accelerator will help SMBs secure trademarks and protect their brands in Amazon’s stores and in the wider marketplace.

The programme connects sellers directly to a network of participating Canadian law firms, including Bereskin and Parr, Clancy PC, JZC Intellectual Property Law, Brouillette Legal, Chari Prenol Slaney and Turco, Kestenberg Siegal Lipkus, Palmer IP, and Ridout and Maybee.

SMBs will be charged reduced, pre-negotiated fees for the programme’s main services.

Participating businesses will also have early access to Amazon’s brand protection tools even before their trademark registration is issued.

At present, Amazon does not charge selling partners any fees for using IP Accelerator. SMBs pay their law firm directly for the work performed at reduced, pre-negotiated rates.

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Amazon brand protection VP Mary Beth Westmoreland said: “More than 30,000 Canada-based third-party sellers have grown their businesses with Amazon, reaching millions of customers while grossing more than $2bn on Amazon’s stores around the world.

“IP Accelerator allows our SMB selling partners to build on that success by protecting their valuable intellectual property and setting them up for long-term growth.

“Establishing and protecting intellectual property rights is essential for businesses of any size, and Amazon is pleased to introduce a new tool that provides access to specialised expertise to help protect brands.”

First launched in the US in 2019, IP Accelerator is currently available to Amazon sellers in 28 countries.

Since the programme’s launch, more than 6,000 trademark applications from participating brands have been submitted to various trademark offices.

These trademark offices include the US Patent and Trademark Office, the European Union Intellectual Property Office, the UK Intellectual Property Office, the India Trade Marks Registry, the Japan Patent Office and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

Last week, it was announced that Amazon’s palm-scanning payment system would be installed at select Whole Foods stores in Seattle this year.