Infringement of Rights

Hi there! Sorry it's been a while since the last blog post!
We'll be posting blog content with overseas companies in mind, so please take a look from time to time!

We often see articles from EC operation support companies with topics like "How to increase sales!" and "Your EC site should run like this!". But in this blog post, I'd like to address some of the ways that overseas stores operating EC sites in Japan can end up with unintentional guideline violations.

Here at Commerce Robotics, we have a regulation check unit to check products and product pages on a daily basis, so we can make sure that each online shop mall is operating soundly according to its own guidelines. This is part of the service that we provide, so feel free to ask us for advice when you are opening your shop!

The topics that I'll be covering in this blog post are as follows;

【Infringement of proprietary rights】

①Copyright actually exists for images on the Internet ②Trying to increase search hits can lead to infringement of trademark rights ③Industrial design rights that are really tough to research

①Copyright actually exists for images on the Internet Overseas sites often tend to copy images from other companies's websites and use them as-is on their own product pages.
(You can see some images below that were picked up from the Internet.)

For companies in Asia that often sell purchased products, there is no copyright for the product page images in major malls such as 1688, and it seems that the images are freely available for use.
If the images for products we are trying to sell in Japan already contain Japanese, it's so easy to just copy the images and use them. But in Japan, all the images on the net are protected by copyright.
If you use the image without permission, the company that created the image will contact you about copyright infringement, and it is also a violation of the shop mall guidelines.

【Points to keep in mind】

②Trying to increase search hits can lead to infringement of trademark rights Let's say for example that your company sells hair dryers. You want to get more search hits for terms like "hair dryer", "large air flow" and "negative ion"!
If you add the name of a famous hair dryer in Japan to your search words, you may think that it will make your company's products easier to find. Unfortunately, this is a trademark infringement.
Since the product page is an advertisement, it would be against the law to post a product name registered as a trademark by another company. Please be careful not to register trademarked product names to improve your SEO performance.

【Points to keep in mind】

③Industrial design rights that are really tough to research An industrial design right is a right that applies to an object, a building, or the shape of an image. Design rights also exist for products.
However, it can be incredibly difficult to find out if the design is registered! Let's take the design of a chair for example. The shape of the chair is somewhat distinctive, and the design is convenient. How do you find out if the design is registered?
This is when the Patent Search Platform comes in handy. But if you simply search for "chair", you will get a lot of hits! In this case, you should use more specific words such as "office chair" or "gaming chair". Please enter as much detail as possible.

【Points to keep in mind】

I hope this information was helpful!

Each shop mall has established a set of guidelines and a penalty for violation. If there is a violation of the guidelines, the ranking will be stopped, the shop may be suspended, and a fine may be imposed.
I believe that sound store management is the quickest and easiest way to ensure sales. It's so important to understand and comply with Japanese laws and guidelines. Make sure that you stay informed!