Reading: Intellectual Property

Read the text and mark the sentences TRUE or FALSE.

books1The notion of intellectual property (IP) refers to all creations of the mind which are patented and thereby protected by law. If a creation is patented, its creators / inventors have exclusive ownership of it for a limited period of time.

IP includes patents for inventions, trademarks, designs, names and images used in commerce and e-commerce. The rights to literary works, website content, movies, works of art, computer software, TV and radio broadcasts are protected by copyright.

Providing e-commerce services frequently involves licensed products (films, music, photographs), therefore the matter of ownership is of paramount importance and cannot be disregarded. For example, if you use pictures or content you do not have the rights to, you may face a lawsuit for intellectual property theft. To avoid potential IP headaches, every e-commerce business should compile a full list of its IP, including the website design, creative content of the website, logo and product names. Such a list should be presented to a lawyer who may suggest a number of effective measures against any future violations. In addition, any information or data published on the website may not reveal or infringe on the intellectual property of another company or person.

The matter of jurisdiction is also of utmost importance. E-commerce services are often provided to foreigners. If buying something is prohibited in one country, its citizens may try purchasing it from an e-shop based abroad. Do your due diligence to be on the safe side in case of international arbitration.