Trademarked Keywords on Amazon: Understanding Usage Guidelines

In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, Amazon has emerged as the dominant marketplace, connecting millions of buyers and sellers across the globe. With its vast product catalog and robust search capabilities, the platform offers sellers an unparalleled opportunity to reach a massive audience. As competition intensifies, sellers are exploring every possible advantage to stand out from the crowd. One such strategy involves the use of trademarked keywords on Amazon to boost visibility and sales. However, navigating the murky waters of trademarked keywords requires a thorough understanding of usage guidelines to avoid potential legal pitfalls.


Igor Demcak

The Power of Keywords on Amazon

Before diving into the realm of trademarked keywords, it's crucial to grasp the significance of keywords on Amazon. Just like search engine optimization (SEO) is vital for websites to rank high on search engine results, keyword optimization is paramount for product discoverability on Amazon. When shoppers search for products on the platform, they use specific keywords to find what they need. The Amazon search algorithm then matches these keywords to relevant product listings.

To capitalize on this system, sellers employ various techniques to include popular keywords in their product titles, bullet points, product descriptions, and backend search terms. By doing so, sellers aim to increase their chances of appearing in relevant search results when potential customers use those keywords. The use of appropriate and well-researched keywords can lead to higher visibility, more clicks, and ultimately, increased sales.

Understanding Trademarked Keywords

A trademark is a legal protection that grants exclusive rights to use a brand name, logo, or slogan for a specific product or service. Trademarks are essential for establishing brand identity, preventing brand dilution, and protecting consumers from confusion about the source of goods or services. Trademark owners have the authority to enforce their rights and prevent unauthorized use of their marks, including the use of their trademarks as keywords.

When a seller uses a trademarked keyword on Amazon, it means they are incorporating a registered brand name or slogan in their product listing or backend search terms. This tactic is often employed by sellers seeking to piggyback on the popularity and reputation of established brands. For example, if a seller offers smartphone accessories, using the keyword "iPhone" in their listing could lead their product to show up in search results for iPhone-related queries, even if their product is not an official Apple product.

Amazon's Policy on Trademarked Keywords

Amazon recognizes the importance of protecting intellectual property and maintaining a fair marketplace. Consequently, the platform has established policies concerning the use of trademarked keywords. These policies aim to strike a balance between allowing sellers to use relevant keywords for their products and preventing deceptive or unauthorized use of trademarks.

According to Amazon's policy, sellers are generally allowed to use a brand name as a keyword if:

  • The product being sold is genuinely related to the brand in question.

  • The seller has explicit permission from the trademark owner to use the brand name as a keyword.

  • The brand name has become a common term for the product and is not exclusively associated with the trademark owner.

It is essential for sellers to note that Amazon's guidelines are not absolute and can vary depending on the region. In some cases, certain brands may have registered their trademarks with Amazon's Brand Registry program, which may impose additional restrictions on the use of their trademarks as keywords.

The Risks of Trademark Infringement

When sellers misuse trademarked keywords, they expose themselves to various risks, including:

  • Listing Suppression or Removal: Amazon may suppress or remove product listings that violate their trademark policies, leading to reduced visibility and sales.

  • Account Suspension: Repeated violations of Amazon's policies could result in account suspension or closure, severely impacting a seller's business.

  • Legal Action: Trademark owners may take legal action against sellers for trademark infringement, seeking damages and injunctive relief.

Best Practices for Using Trademarked Keywords

To avoid falling into the trap of trademark infringement, sellers should adhere to best practices when using trademarked keywords on Amazon:

1. Thoroughly Research Trademarks

Before using any keyword that includes a brand name or slogan, sellers must research whether it is a registered trademark and who the rightful owner is. Understanding the ownership and status of a trademark can help sellers determine if using it as a keyword is permissible.

2. Use Keywords Accurately

Ensure that the product being listed is genuinely related to the brand name used as a keyword. Misleading or unrelated product listings can result in customer complaints and potential policy violations.

3. Obtain Permission

If a seller intends to use a trademarked keyword with the explicit purpose of associating their product with the trademark owner, it is essential to seek permission from the brand owner. Having written authorization can serve as a safeguard against potential issues.

4. Utilize Generic Terms

Focus on using generic terms that accurately describe the product rather than relying solely on trademarked keywords. This approach not only reduces the risk of infringement but also helps attract a wider audience.

5. Stay Informed About Policy Changes

Amazon's policies are subject to change, and sellers must stay informed about any updates or modifications to trademark-related guidelines. A good starting point is to get familiar with Amazon trademark usage guidelines.


The use of trademarked keywords on Amazon can be a powerful tool for sellers to enhance their product visibility and drive sales. However, it is vital to exercise caution and adhere to Amazon's usage guidelines and trademark laws to avoid potential legal ramifications. By conducting thorough research, obtaining necessary permissions, and employing generic terms where possible, sellers can navigate the world of trademarked keywords responsibly and ethically. In doing so, they can establish a strong online presence, build consumer trust, and unlock the full potential of the Amazon marketplace.

Igor Demcak
Igor Demcak

Trademark Attorney

Founder & CEO of Trama

7 year experience in IP protection

Gain more insights about the importance of brand in your industry through our selection of indicators and case studies.

Hero - e-commerce industry