Article Review: E-Business and Intellectual Property

Time and money are the two most important resources are the two most resources of any business.  However, most small companies ignore the importance of intellectual property. The small business owners feel threatened by lawyers of big companies who engage in intellectual property lawsuits. Therefore, small business companies think that intellectual property is a problem for large corporations. Increase in competition due to the development of the internet has increased the importance of intellectual property to small businesses.

Patents, copyright, and trademark are some of the legal mechanisms related to intellectual property rights. Other types of intellectual property such as know-how are also important as they may have a high commercial value. However, there is no particular intellectual property law does not offer them any kind of protection except in cases where there are contracts that show that the know-how is an intellectual property (Dahl, 2009).

The internet has helped in revolutionizing customer relationships. The dot-com boom marked the beginning of internet revolution. It led to the development of business models that were previously non-existent. The new business models were based on the internet. Companies such as Google, Amazon, and Yahoo took advantage of the development of the internet to develop business models that took advantage of various aspects of the internet. This development necessitated the “brick and mortar” stores to acknowledge the fact that they had to provide customers with an opportunity to acquire various goods and services over the internet to fulfill the customer expectations.

Most companies use websites to promoting and generating sales. However, this has created several ethical and legal issues. Other companies may copy the look and feel of the website of a certain company. However, various parts of websites are protected by different types of intellectual property laws. The HTML code used in the development of the website can be protected by intellectual property laws. An organization may protect its website by registering it trademark. It should also use a domain name that reflects its trademark (Dahl, 2009).

E-Businesses face various challenges. Privacy and security are some of the major challenges that they face. E-businesses may share customer information with third parties for certain promotional purposes without seeking consent from customers. For example, Facebook, the largest social networking site, has been accused several times of sharing information on what customers post on their walls with third parties. Privacy concerns necessitate Facebook users to change their privacy settings.

E-Businesses are also prone to attacks by hackers. The hackers may use personal information of the customers of an organization for their own benefit. For example, they may use social security numbers and credit card numbers to defraud customers of an e-business enterprise. Despite the fact that most companies acknowledge the problems posed by hackers, it is still difficult for companies to maintain high security of their systems.

Companies should ensure that they engage in ethical business practices. However, certain large corporation engage in unethical business practices by stealing the intellectual property rights of the small businesses if the businesses refuse to sell them the intellectual property rights. The small companies do not have enough funds to pay lawyers to engage in lawsuits, which are usually very costly.  The above factors necessitate businesses to seek the services of a specialized internet attorney on internet property and other legal issues before creating an e-business.

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