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E-commerce and Aspects of Intellectual property Essay

E-commerce and Aspects of Intellectual property
Law/ 421
March 12, 2013

E-commerce and Aspects of Intellectual property

Nowadays, e-commerce is a type of business which is utilized all around the world. It is crucial to be familiar with certain legal intellectual property rules and regulations. These rules include: privacy, ethics and security. The article “Management of Intellectual property rights” by Josephine Chinyang Lang reviews the growing global trends in intellectual property protection and identifies patenting as a strategic idea. There are numerous legal procedures and strategies companies need to familiarize themselves with in order to manage their e-commerce businesses efficiently. According to Houghton Mifflin Company (2009), patent is “the exclusive right granted by a government to an inventor to manufacture, use, or sell an invention for a certain number of years” (1).

The correct implementation of patents into the e-commerce business is vital for the company’s development. “In e-commerce business environment, a firm that owns a software patent or MDB patent has, in fact, an entry barrier in the form of a 20-year exclusive right.” (Lang, p. 9) For example, for the patent to be made legally valid, it must to be translated into the language of a country where the patent applies. “That means, to obtain pan-EU protection, a company must translate its patent into 15 different languages, bear the financial burden of 15 different legal fees, and engage the services of different sets of lawyers with expertise in different national patent laws.” Besides patents, there are many other forms of IP protection afforded by international agreements and national laws.

These forms include: copyrights, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial designs, layout designs of integrated circuits, and trade secrets. Each form of IP protection contains a set of norms which helps to specify what subject matter is protected, the procedures for achieving protection, the duration of protection, and legal remedies for infringement of the IP right. E- commerce businesses need to be familiar with the copyrighting procedures and limitations. According to Houghton Mifflin Company (2009), a copyright is “the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical, or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc.” For example, a copyright protects the whole work but not individual parts. A music composer may copyright a symphony but not the musical notes, phrasings, and motifs; these belong in the public domain. Additionally, e- commerce businesses are required to be aware of the infringement which is a legal term for a breach or a violation. “Cyberspace is a virtual patent infringement minefield and detecting infringements has become relatively easy with the interconnected architecture of the Internet.”

Patents are scrutinized and reviewed with the aim to affirm that infringement has not occurred and that adequate measures have been taken to ensure proper discharge of the duty of due care (Kirkland and Ellis, 2000). International patenting at this time still requires an inventor who wishes to obtain patent protection in any particular country to apply for a patent there. In the face of infringement suits, the most effective tool with which to escalate a counter-suit is ownership of a whole slew of patents. Many e-commerce businesses today patent strategically. New legal developments and the proliferation of software and business method patents have made it necessary for e-commerce businesses to adopt a patent strategy. Even the benevolent few who have no intention of using patents offensively must consider patenting in their corporate strategy for there exists a possibility of infringement suits being brought against them by others.

Reference Page
Houghton Mifflin Company. (2009). Dictionary.com. Retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/patent?s=t Lang, J. C. Management of intellectual property rights Strategic patenting. Journal of Intellectual Capital, Volume 2(), pp. 8 – 26. Retrieved from http://phoenix.summon.serialssolutions.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/search?s.q=e-commerce business+and+intellectual+property&s.fvf[]=IsScholarly,true&keep_r=true

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