They are different types of and legal protections of intellectual property. There are Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks, and Trade Secrets. Copyrights protect original works of authorship, such as literature, music, artistic works, and computer software, for example plagiarism, or use of music with in a game or music without the owner’s permission. As the holder of a copyright you have the exclusive right to reproduce, adapt and to distribute the work. Patents grant the rights on inventions, allowing the patent holder to exclude others from making, selling, or using the invention. An example would be the as seen on TV items you won’t see the item on shelves at Wal-Mart until patent runs out and other companies are allowed to make it. Trademarks are words, phrases, symbol, or designs that distinguishes the item from other competitors, such as Nike. Everyone can distinguish Nike product by just the Swoosh symbol.
There is also Trade Secrets, which is a formula, process or device or any other way that keeps a company’s secret to give them an advantage. An example of a trade secret is Coca Cola. Their formula has been kept secret for decades, they have taken the necessary steps to control disclosure of the information (upcounsel.com). the law steps into place when any of these are filed with the federal government, such as the US patent office. They can provide protection from other competitors using your ideas. They can provide an attorney if needed. An e-company can benefit from any of these types of protections from the government, especially the Federal Trade Commission, depending what they offer. An example being Amazon. They fall under almost all of the different intellectual properties. Copyrights, being one of the first companies to offer online sales of anything needed except what is considered illegal.
Trademarks as in the logo and how the website is set up, and trade secrets on how the shipping process works and how the employees fill the orders. The company can be protected by the different FTC laws governing online sales, such as the mail and phone order merchandise rule to better serve their customers. The rules spells out the ground rules for making promises about shipments, notifying customers about unexpected delays, and refunding consumers money. By law the person selling something on Amazon.com you must have a reasonable basis that states that a shipment must be shipped within a certain time. If your advertising does not state it clearly about the shipping basis then the company would still have a reasonable shipping time. All of this falls under the example of a trade secret, by not giving another company the advantage of faster shipping and precise shipping to the customers (business.ftc.gov/documents).
Intellectual Property Protection; (2014); www.upcounsel.com
Selling On the Internet; (2012); www.business.ftc.gov