IP Management for E-commerce enterprises

The issue of the enforcement of intellectual property rights is just one of several problems that go beyond the growth of e-commerce. IPR and e-commerce are related and complimentary. In an electronic commerce platform, the offered goods or services are subject to IPR and its licencing. In addition, the IPR facilitates the operation of e-commerce. According to the Oxford Dictionary, "intellectual property is an intangible asset resulting from human innovation." In contrast to previous business models, e-commerce frequently involves the sale of goods and services that include music, artwork, photographs, software, designs, and other types of intellectual property (IP).

E-commerce also depends on a system made up of many forms of intellectual property. Like other technological companies, many e-commerce businesses have patent and trademark portfolios that increase the value of their operations. In order to improve its business management, Facebook, for instance, purchased Source, a platform that uses object recognition technology to identify and analyse branded intellectual property in user-generated content, in July 2017.

The right to exclude others from making, selling, or using the subject of a valid patent is granted to the holder. Because of its close ties to industries like telecommunications, electronics, software, and others that have recently seen significant patent activity, e-commerce businesses place a specific emphasis on patents. The development of patents allows E-Commerce businesses to expand their global market and establish a framework where licensees develop and discern products. Second, it enables E-Commerce companies to create strategic partnerships with other businesses through licencing and thereby invigorates morale. Third, it enables E-Commerce companies to differentiate their products from those of their competitors. The majority of the time, the software and the business method are at issue when it comes to patent infringement in e- commerce. As an illustration, consider the well-known legal dispute between Bernes and Noble, and Amazon. Amazon submitted a patent for the "one-click" procedure. One click is a strategy that allows a customer to purchase something online by simply clicking once. On September 28, 1999, Amazon received the patent. On their website, Bernes and Noble have created a one-click ordering feature they call "Express Lane." So, Amazon filed a lawsuit against them for violating a patent. The Court has issued an injunction requiring BernesandNoble.com to stop providing this one-click option.

The ability to migrate works of intellectual property to the internet is a result of digitization technology. An E-Commerce business mainly relies on online sales, which leverage a sizable database of book, movie, and music titles and an easy-to-use purchasing system to draw customers. These products are all examples of copyright works. The E-Commerce businesses run the danger of violating copyright and related rights as the internet service providers that offer transit, content access, and hosting services. Accessing copyrighted works has gotten simpler in this digital age because you can easily find music, videos, and books by clicking. The likelihood of violation rises because of this fact. In order to ensure that the contents they provide to the public respect IPR, it is the responsibility of the site owner and stakeholder.

A trademark, which may be the most valuable asset a company owns, serves as the "front desk" of a company from the standpoint of marketing and is used to promote its products. Since the domain name is a common tool for contact with clients and aids in identifying the source of goods and services, in the context of E-Commerce, it can be the most recognisable trademark of a firm. However, the growth of online commerce has also given rise to a new type of trademark infringement known as "cybersquatting"-the unauthorised use of a domain name. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") report, 109 nations submitted 3036 complaints about cybersquatting to its arbitration centre in 2016. In domain name disputes, trademark owners have filed more than 36,000 lawsuits with WIPO between 1999 and 2016.

Any sensitive business information that gives a company a competitive edge is considered a trade secret. It consists of lists of suppliers and customers, manufacturing procedures, consumer profiles, distribution techniques, advertising plans, and marketing tactics. In the context of trade secrets, we discuss misappropriations of secrets rather than infringements. This happened, for instance, when someone stole a secret and applied it. The key idea is that when a person learns a secret in an illegal way and then begins to exploit it, there has been a misappropriation of secrets which can hamper any business and hence its protection is necessary.


E-commerce now occupies a significant position in society. It is clear that technology gave us a wide range of options and chances. Electronic commerce is the ideal method for businesses large and small to contact a wide audience of potential clients. Additionally, a company's participation in e-commerce helps it develop its assets. The majority of the enterprise resources are made up of IP assets. Therefore, business owners ought to spend money on property protection. However, legal systems are finding it difficult to adapt to the demands of the modern information era. In today's seamless, high-tech world, the conventional methods of preserving IP rights are no longer adequate.

The global character of e-commerce poses a threat to those rights that are territorial in nature, which only have legal significance in the jurisdiction in which they are awarded. Online fraud, ID theft, spamming, and other e-crimes cannot be effectively addressed by the legal sanctions and enforcement procedures of the 20th century. To build reliable systems for addressing these issues, we must discover fresh, more efficient solutions. In order to ensure that the internet ecosystem keeps growing, new technologies can help us govern it more effectively.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.