Are Intellectual Property Rights still relevant

in a context of E-Commerce Business?



By Julie Roué

SKEMA Business School

Paris, France



One of the strategic resources of a company is its intellectual property. From designs to idea, from trademark to logos, intellectual property embodies all the uniqueness of a brand. But do businesses really know how to protect themselves, on every aspect?  In a very digital and thus world, this property can be easily endangered. The aim of this article is to compare different approaches of IP, from the most minimalist to the most protective in order to extract the best practices. This paper will focus on the case of e-commerce businesses and more particularly on jewelry brands. We will see that businesses need to protect themselves as much as possible and as soon as possible, and also when it comes to website contents even if it is often forgotten. Intellectual property is not only a matter of protection against competitors, it entails the brand strategy on a long-term basis.

Keywords: Design ownership, Value creation, Proactive approach, Registration, E-commerce, Copyrights, Jewelry


Can you make the difference between an original “clou” from Cartier and a counterfeit? Many can’t. That’s why, in order to protect clients and brands, laws monitor and punish artistic creations’ from being copied thanks to Intellectual Property rights (IP rights). Since 1623 with the Statute of Monopolies, IP rights protect tangible and intangible assets from being copied and sold. But of course since then, the jewelry business context has changed a lot. Nowadays thousands of brands, from high jewelry to lower ends, are fighting for market shares. In order to survive, brands have to rely on their originality to catch the clients’ attention. The aim is to be unique and identifiable. But the biggest change since 15 years has been the medium of the market: with internet, the majority of jewelry businesses are developed through e-shops. The jewels are visible to all, 24 hours a day, all over the world. This means that the information about the jewels like the pictures, the materials, the sizes, etc. are available to all and easily downloadable.

Since the beginning of the IP rights, laws have adapted but we would like to challenge those rights in this article, taking the example of the very competitive jewelry market. The meaning of this article is simple: as a new entrant in the jewelry market, what do I need to know in order to protect my intellectual creations from being stolen, and how to make sure IP rights fit to my business?

Step 1 – Problem definition

Internet makes copying easy: let’s say someone wants to copy one of the rings you sell on your e-shop. The person simply copy-pastes or screenshots the picture you posted and gets all the details needed to copy your jewel. In a very competitive market like the jewelry’s, that kind of risk would better be avoided. As an intangible asset of your business, design is protected by Intellectual Property rights. But as internet’s information are difficult to contain and to track, can IP rights effectively prevent this type of behavior to become a threat to your business and its opportunities? What are the good practices in terms of IP rights in order to protect your business?

The objective of this article is multifold. First, we would like to challenge the relevance of IP rights in the context of internet. Then we will tend to describe a proactive use of these rights in the same context. The idea is to make sure the business is protected, but we will see as well that a right use of IP can lead to value creation.


To read entire paper, click here


Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director [email protected].

How to cite this paper: Roué, J.  (2018). Are Intellectual Property Rights still relevant in a context of E-Commerce Business? PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue XI – November.  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/pmwj76-Nov2018-Roué-are-intellectual-property-rights-still-relevant-student-paper.pdf


About the Author

Julie Roué

Paris, France




Julie Roué is a French business student at Skema Business School in Paris.  She studied literature for two years in Classe Préparatoire B/L (Saint-François-Xavier, Vannes, France), and business in Skema Business School (Paris, France) and Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada).  She has most recently been enrolled in a semester at SKEMA Business School in Paris pursuing the specialization “Msc Project and Program Management and Business Development” and planning to finish her education in Seoul in 2018.

Julie can be contacted at [email protected] or on LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/in/julie-roué-b60608a7