This is how an e-commerce business may protect its intellectual property rights

This is how an e-commerce business may protect its intellectual property rights ...

The Spanish consumer has no longer lived without electronic commerce. According to the most recent data collected by the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC), the income of the e-business Within our country increased by 16% year on year, registering a turnover of 15.3% with more over 335 million transactions in the last quarter.

These statistics illustrate the wide array of economic growth opportunities that come with e-business; however, they also imply an increased danger of counterfeiting and infringement of intellectual property, on the one hand, and of existing safeguards, on the other.

According to an analysis by the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) and EUROPOL (European Union Agency for Police Cooperation), the most vulnerable categories of electronic commerce are perfumery and cosmetic goods, and pharmaceutical goods with more than 70% of seizures at EU borders connected to internet sales.

How do I register an e-trademarkbusiness and what can be done to protect your intellectual property?

According to EU copyright regulations, "a website of a creative nature is considered an intellectual work of a multimedia nature." In this sense, the website includes the following elements:

  • Design. The call look and feelthat is, the aesthetic appearance of the web determined by the graphic characteristics, contours, colors and layout of the text.
  • graphic structure. This is created as long as the software on which it is based is the original created by the author.
  • Domain name. It must be unique, that is, two sites cannot be associated under the same domain name
  • Coexistence in it of several intellectual works (text, images, video)

What are the definitions of unauthorized activities that infringe intellectual property?

  • Deep linking. It consists of inserting a link into a web page (hyperlink) that takes the user to a different page. This operation can lead to a serious risk of confusion between the two sites, which is why it is considered illegal.
  • framing. It consists of inserting features and content from another site into the structure of the website’s graphical interface. This is a case of hoarding or illegal appropriation of the merits of other people’s products.
  • Cybersquatting. The use of domain names corresponding to other brands or products for resale.
  • The “typosquatting«. It consists of buying domains that look like links or URL’s but they actually contain a typographical error. This tricks users into performing a new search.
  • Domain grabbing. It is about registering a domain name with a distinctive sign or word to the company itself.

The last three cases are related to the so-called "time precedence principle," which is based on assigning a domain name to the first requested party. For this reason, the Industrial Property Code recognizes the domain name as a distinct sign of the organization in the same way as the brand, the name of the company, or the sign, and guarantees it the same protection.

The registration of an e-trademarkbusiness guarantees its exclusivity, so that competitors will not be able to unlawfully exploit or exploit it.

What is the procedure?

To ensure that the trademark meets all requirements, it must be unique, legal, and true in the first place.

According to the Nice Classification, when constructing a brand, it is necessary to indicate the class of products it will be associated. The latter covers 45 classes, divided into 34 categories of goods and 11 different services.

To be able to register in Spain or to expand internationally, a brand must have territorial protection. Lastly, it must be taken into account that the protection of trademark intellectual property is not infinite. It must be renewed every ten years in order not to lose the rights. The renewal process may be carried out in the twelve months prior to the expiration date or, at least, in the six months after.

e-protectionbusiness is centered almost always on consumers. However, the significance of the dangers associated with product counterfeiting and the infringement of intellectual property rights against the entrepreneurs is often overlooked.

"In an increasingly digital shopping environment, it is vital to protect one's work and related economic interests. An e-sitebusiness must be carefully structured from the legal point of view and legally protected. Only in this way can it become a powerful tool to attract customers and create a digital identity of a company," says Noelia Lázaro, Packlink's director of marketing.

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