How E-commerce Laws May Affect Your Products

E-commerce involves the buying and selling of different goods and services through the internet. E-commerce also involves the online transfer of money and data to complete a transaction. E-commerce started with The American retail platform NetMarket. NetMarket allowed people to purchase products over the internet.

Over the last decade, E-commerce has allowed people, small businesses, and corporations to purchase products through online market places. There are multiple types of E-commerce models. Business to Business involves one business selling goods to another business. Consumer to Consumer involves an exchange from one consumer to the next. Business to Consumer involves a business selling a good to a consumer. Consumer to Business involves a consumer selling their products to a business.

Protecting Your Product 

Legally, your property could be described as patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. The two most popular groups are patents and trademarks.

A patent involves a new invention that you have created. A patent doesn’t give you the right to make or sell that product. Rather, it gives the patent holder the right to prevent others from making, selling or using a product that is covered by the patent. Patents can be good for up to 20 years.

A trademark involves your name being associated with a product. A registered trademark identifies the source of a product. It’s possible to register a trademark for a single word, a phrase or a logo. Logos can include words as well. A trademark tells consumers who made the product.

If you choose to market your product through a website, the images and product descriptions are considered your property. Make sure that any content that you put on your website is your own, in the public domain, and is covered under fair use. Make sure that you are selling branded and authentic products and protect your products with the help of a patent specialist.

Legal Rights

Property law makes it illegal to disclose secrets. This helps prevent unfair competition. Thanks to the influx of technology and the digital economy, your products are extremely valuable. Without the proper launch in place, your product may be stolen. List any symbols, names or slogans that you use concerning your product. Take inventory of your secrets. Document all of your contracts that can impact the future of your products. Do not forget any non-disclosure agreements or licensing deals that you signed to assist with the creation of your product. If you have any questions about protecting your product, consider speaking with an attorney.

Remember that copyrights protect your creativity. Register with The U.S. Copyright Office so that you will be protected in the event of an infringement suit. If you hire someone to create your website, that person has ownership of the design unless you have written documentation showing the copyright. If you plan to sell your business, you need to make sure that your property is protected. Take the time to perform an audit at least once a year on any work outsourced.

It you have any questions or concerns about your intellectual property rights reach out to a knowledgeable IP attorney.

Author: Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams is an experienced mechanical engineer and lawyer that consults closely with clients in a straightforward and clear manner.  He brings a particular set of strengths and unique perspectives to the firm Texas Patent Attorney.   

Jeff received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University in 2005.  He was an engineer for a number of years at a number of large corporations before pursuing his law degree.  He graduated from Texas A&M University School of Law (formerly Texas Wesleyan University School of Law) with a J.D. in 2010.  By combining his education and prior work experience into the field of intellectual property law, Jeff has developed key skills to fully assist clients.

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