Amazon enters the legal industry
Amazon enters the legal industry

Earlier in October 2019, Amazon Inc. officially launched its global ‘IP Accelerator’, a platform that will provide intellectual property services through discounted access to law firms.

This announcement marks the official entry of Amazon into the legal industry, a move that has been speculated by pundits for some time now. The initiative has kicked-off on a global scale and is restricted neither to any jurisdiction nor to its third-party sellers.

Why does Amazon’s IP Accelerator exist?

The IP Accelerator is Amazon’s response to the problem of counterfeit products and fraudulent practices — a ghost Amazon has failed to exorcize due to the sheer volume of third-party sellers on its online retail platforms. The Accelerator is a natural progression of Project Zero, which was announced in Feb 2019 with the aim of combating counterfeit products and paid reviews.

Through this program, Amazon will act as a legal service provider that connects brands to a trusted pool of IP law firms and avail quick and cost-effective legal help. Services such as copyright and trademark registrations, filings, IP protection strategies will make ease it convenient for sellers to get personalized solutions for their brands.

There are compelling reasons for a seller to get legal assistance through Amazon. For starters, the rates are fixed: $500 for a trademark search, $600 for a trademark application, and $1,800 for a comprehensive brand review. The seller deals directly with the law firm and pays nothing to Amazon.

The standardized fixed-fee model will significantly reduce transaction costs of availing legal services directly through a lawyer and take the guesswork out of the registration process.

Moreover, applications made via the IP Accelerator will earn additional benefits from Amazon. This includes automated brand protection on its market to combat fraud, proactive elimination of bad-faith or paid reviews, as well as sellers can report a violation of their IP.

“We’re very excited Amazon has a list of legal firms that can advise us in our trademark needs. We have struggled finding counsel for trademark specific questions as we are a small company and work with limited budgets. Having the peace of mind that Amazon has vetted these firms and negotiated pricing for us lets us focus on what matters — building our brand.”

– Sonali Nayak, owner, Indigo Paisley

One can see how all of these directly play into Amazon’s own values and mission, making their own brand reliable and trustworthy.

What is Amazon’s long game?

For Amazon, its IP accelerator fits perfectly into its Service Provider Network. Usually, one would go to Amazon to browse for products. For a small or medium seller with a limited budget and limited knowledge of his legal rights, it is not feasible to take up the tedious process of searching for quality lawyers who fall within their budgets. The aim of the IP accelerator seems to be to eliminate these inconveniences that its vendors experience all over the world.

There are at least three categories of inconveniences that Amazon is able to immediately eliminate:

(1) Search and information costs

Time and money that a buyer has to spend to look for relevant information, meeting and communicating with potential sellers.

(2) Bargaining costs

Time and money that a buyer has to spend to come to a final agreement agreeable to the parties, accounting for risks and contingencies, and drawing up a contract.

(3) Policing and enforcement costs

Time and money that a buyer has to spend to ensure that the transaction proceeds as planned, that parties do not default on the terms of the contract. In case they do, there are additional costs to legally enforce the contract, which in many cases can end up exceeding the original value of the service in question.

Conclusion

It is obvious how Amazon is leveraging its customers’ trust and its massive market share to allay the above pain-points by providing an easy way to shop for legal services, in a manner that’s already familiar to brands and the public at large.

For sellers, it is an additional service they now have access to (alongside other related services such as compliance and accounting that Amazon currently offers through its trusted local service providers). This facility will allow Amazon to harness the data it generates to launch new business models, whether based on productization of essential legal services or providing brand safeguards.

Few companies in the world are better placed than Amazon to seize the massive latent market demand in the legal industry. Its incursion into the legal territory can be trend-setting, and it may not be surprising if global giants soon start including legal services into their “customer happiness” prerogative.

mood_bad
  • No comments yet.
  • Add a comment
    Share on linkedin
    LinkedIn
    Share on facebook
    Facebook
    Share on twitter
    Twitter
    How to use a legal virtual assistant to power up a law firm
    Considering hiring a legal virtual assistant for your law firm? Read this quick guide to find key efficiencies and maximize value of outsourcing repetitive tasks with a law firm virtual assistant.
    Innovating justice delivery through technology: Lessons for India from Dutch Courts [Q&A with Dory Reiling]
    Dory Reiling Ph.D. Mag.Iur. is an independent judicial reform expert specialising in the application of technologies in courtrooms. ILT was privileged to be able to interview Dory about some of the challenges currently faced by Indian courts and what lessons might be learnt from best practices in the Netherlands.
    The end of lawyers? GPT-3’s impact on the legal profession
    GPT-3 is a revolutionary technology, but will it realistically revolutionize the legal profession? Here’s a look at how AI language tools might affect lawyers in the future.
    The difference between legaltech and lawtech
    The terms may sound the same, but the legal tech v law tech debate has some meaningful implications. Read on to discover why the experts think this is so.
    Cyril Amarchand announces Prarambh 2.0, it’s flagship legal tech incubator: Here’s all you need to know
    Prarambh is CAM’s flagship legal tech incubator and has just announced its second edition. This write-up is an evolving one, and will capture further details as and when they are announced. In the meantime, here’s what we know.
    Introducing Bernstein for law firms – A better way to manage your clients’ IP
    Bernstein, a German software product, is a powerful white label tool for lawyers and law firms to help manage their clients’ intellectual property, and differentiate their services. They have just started operations in India.

    Contact business

    Apply Now

    Resume / CV (upload)