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Exclusive: Amazon gets green light to push ahead with UK pharmacy trademark

By Rachel Carter

26 Nov 2020

Amazon Pharmacy is to become a registered trademark in the UK, after opposition to the application was withdrawn, the Pharmacist understands.

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) confirmed to the Pharmacist yesterday (25 November) that Amazon’s application for the Amazon Pharmacy trademark will now ‘proceed to registration’, with the trademark ‘becoming registered either this week or next’.

The US tech giant filed an application for the UK trademark in January, but it was later opposed by London-based healthcare company Infohealth Laboratories Ltd.

Last week (21 November), the Times reported that Infohealth Laboratories had dropped the case. The UK IPO also confirmed to the Pharmacist that the opposition has been withdrawn.

Amazon Pharmacy US

This comes after Amazon Pharmacy launched in the US last week (17 November), offering Amazon Prime members free two-day delivery and discounts of up to 80% off generic medicines and 40% off brand name medications when paying without insurance.

Meanwhile, in August, Amazon launched its first online pharmacy in India – another of the countries it filed a trademark application for in January. Customers of the pharmacy, set up in the city of Bangalore, can order prescription-based medication, as well as over-the-counter medicines, basic health devices, and Ayurvedic medication from certified sellers. 

In January (2020), US media outlet CNBC reported that Amazon had also filed for the trademark in a number of other countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, the EU, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. The news followed Amazon’s acquisition of the US online pharmacy PillPack in 2018.

‘Face-to-face interaction is crucial’

Earlier this year, the Pharmacist reported that Amazon Pharmacy had become a registered trademark in the EU.

At the time, RPS president Sandra Gidley, urged the public to continue to support their local pharmacy, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

She added: ‘It is vital to emphasis the importance of face-to-face interaction between a pharmacist and a patient, which can often be crucial in making health interventions. As experts in medicines, pharmacists ensure that people are taking their medicines correctly and safely, which may be missed when using online services.’

Amazon has been approached for comment.

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