Internet Shopping Parallel Imports and Intellectual Property
It often feels that intellectual property (IP) laws have been designed to thwart our natural rights to consume. Not evil counterfeit goods, but rather the right to consume genuine goods when we want them and at reasonable prices.
Just how freely can goods flow into Australia in a world shrunk by the internet?
The territorial nature of IP rights has been, and to a certain extent can be, magnificent from the perspective of an IP owner. IP owners have traditionally been able to control (or some might say manipulate) the various geographical markets in which their products were sold.
These days, there is no doubt that the internet forms a part of any brand’s public profile, and we’re long past the point of no return. Even if you or your organisation itself isn’t online, it’s almost certain that someone else has mentioned your business somewhere on the World Wide Web.
Your brand is the most valuable asset that you'll want to protect. Whether you’ve been “reviewed” by a competitor on Eatability, “trolled” on Facebook or bad mouthed by Crikey (or all three) you probably understand the real costs associated with having had your reputation injured online.
In December 2011, we explored the use of social media to build your business (in part 1), and some of the legal risks associated with intellectual property and brand management. Now we’re turning the tables to have a look at the use of social media by employees, and how to manage any problems that might arise.
Social Media is a wonderful asset to all businesses – but Social Media is a lot of work. Protecting your intellectual property online is difficult, but the payoff can be significant. In Part 1 of our Social Media and the Law Newsletter, we’ll be considering the copyright and brand implications of social media.
More than ever the race is on to fence off names and words. This is particularly so in an online world where many services providers such as Google, Bing, Twitter, eBay and FaceBook generally require a trade mark registration as a prerequisite to challenge third party names.
Online retail services may be experiencing fast explosive growth. However, the system for registered protection of trade marks for retail services (whether online or not) has moved very slowly over the years and can be confusing. Similarly trade mark protection of online businesses has also been inconsistent and very confusing.