In a traditional store, a thief steals the product, just the product. In e-commerce he can steal the whole brand… To make your e-business profitable you need to protect it. How to do it?
Before your store starts to function so that it brings profits, you invest in it not only money, but also time, talent and commitment. In order to stand out, you have created a name, logo, graphics – all these make up a brand, a sign for your e-shop. The brand is your capital and a guarantee of income. Everything is intangible, non-physical, abstract. Do you think that it cannot be stolen? It can be !How do e-thieves do it?
They can register an almost identical domain name – it’s easy for the customer to get confused…
They can sell similar products ,branded just like yours
They can use your company logo on their websites and use your store name, logo or product branding on their social media channels
They can position and advertise a business using your e-store name!
The purpose of all these actions is to sell their products using your brand name illegally. The customer has been misled and you have been robbed.
How to protect yourself?
First of all, you need to monitor the market – find out what’s new with your competitors, where the customers in your sector shop the most and See if there is a new player on the market. Secondly, take care of your customers. Infringements are most often reported by customers who are surprised by the quality of a purchased product If you are in contact with them you can ask them or inform them to be ware .for example they might noticed a very similar logo somewhere, or were disappointed by the quality of service. Let’s assume that you find out about these infringements. What can you do about it? You can enforce your rights, but there is one condition – you must have registered your brand as a trademark with the Patent Office.
What can you register ?
1.A word trademark – the name of your e-store or brand name2
2. A word and figurative trademark – if the name is always accompanied by a figurative trademark or
3. A graphic trademark – (for example) your store logo
Where to do it?
Depending on where you operate and where you want to sell your products , you can register your trade mark with the patent office of the country where you work; the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) if your business operates in several EU countries; or the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) if you want to sell globally. Remember, protection will only work within the territory in which the mark is registered, and you will only have a monopoly on the use of the mark in the industry or product sector in which you operate
What will it give you?
After registration you will become the legal owner of your brand, you have it in writing – and everything you have created is yours, protected by an institution that will react if you report its violation. You can effectively claim closure of the domain, which is confusingly similar to yours, you can block advertising that uses the name of your store e.g. in sponsored links. A registered brand also means more prestige and reputation, which is very important in the market.