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Opening a Digital Store – Four Legal Tips That May Save You a Lot of Money

Michael Decker
Michael Decker

We have all recently come to see how important online commerce is. Over the past years (and especially since the COVID-19 crisis), opening a digital shop in Israel has become a common practice for many businesses. Unfortunately, our experience shows that few digital store owners are aware of the many legal requirements that they must meet. Accordingly, many of them are exposed to lawsuits and fines due to the way their store operates. Therefore, we have prepared for you a comprehensive overview on the subject from a lawyer who specializes in commercial law and Internet law.

Our law firm in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv specializes in commercial law, Internet law, and privacy protection law. The firm provides legal advice and assistance for company owners and businesses in a variety of areas, including managing websites and application software (“apps” for short). The lawyers at our firm are very experienced in assisting with issues such as writing terms of use, creating user regulations, and setting privacy-protection policies for websites, all in accordance with the law.

Opening a digital store

Legislation in the Field of Digital Commerce

Digital stores are the stores of the future, and that future is already here. For those who still had doubts, the coronavirus crisis made it clear how important it is to switch to online marketing. During 2020/2021, there was a tremendous increase in the number of digital stores that were opened in Israel. Many businesses that did not open an online store were left behind, and some even had to close down. If you have already opened a digital store or are considering opening one, you are definitely not alone.

However, opening an online store requires many legal checks, which not everyone is aware that they must perform. The field is evolving rapidly, but the law is not developing accordingly and is not always accessible enough. It is important to be familiar with the law and receive legal advice that will suit the individual needs of your business. Below are some important tips on legal issues that every digital store owner needs to know.

1- Preserve your intellectual property rights (and do not infringe on the rights of others)

Intellectual property (IP) is a field that includes a variety of sub-fields and legal protections for works of art, logos, designs, and more. Businesses, entrepreneurs, and creators invest huge sums of money and resources in protecting their intellectual property assets. Part of this involves filing lawsuits against those who violate their rights, especially on the Internet. Naturally, no one wants to have their assets copied and, on the flip side, no one wants to be exposed to claims amounting to tens and even hundreds of thousands of shekels for violating the intellectual property rights of others. If you want to ensure that you will not be exposed to lawsuits, you must actively take action to prevent this from happening. At the same time, it is important that you protect the intellectual property rights of your business.

One of the important areas in this regard is trademarks. Trademarks protect logos, brand names, slogans, etc. that are used by a particular business. It is important to make sure that the name of your business and the brands that you sell do not constitute a legal infringement of trademarks that are owned by others. Searching online trademark databases in Israel and around the world can help. It is also important to register the trademarks that belong to your business, so that in case someone copies them you will be able to take legal action to protect your rights.

Another important issue in this context pertains to the domain name of your store. Digital store websites often use the trademarks of others as part of their URL. For example, if the URL of a digital store that sells smartphones would be, that would be an infringement on the Apple trademark and might even mislead consumers to think that the store belongs to Apple, the company that manufactures iPhones. It is very important to make sure that the domain name you purchase for the store does not infringe on trademarks or intellectual property rights of others.

It is also important to avoid copyright infringement. Photos, music, and videos are often used as part of websites of online stores. It is important to make sure that you have a license to use any visual work, audio work, or audio-visual work that is included on the site. The law allows owners of copyrighted works to sue infringers and force them to pay hundreds of thousands of shekels, sometimes even without proof of damage.

2 – Maintain user privacy

Privacy protection has lately become a burning issue, especially in light of how easy it is to violate users’ right to privacy on the Internet. As a result, many rules and regulations exist that digital store owners must follow. This includes the illegality of using photographs of people if it may infringe on their privacy or humiliate them, the illegality of disclosing private information about the store’s customers, and the obligation to register and manage databases. It is very important to write terms of use that will ensure that these laws are followed. This important topic is expanded upon in another article published on our website.

3 – Make sure that your website adheres to the accessibility laws

As of 2017, websites must be accessible by law. This requires website owners to include an option for accessible display, such as enlarged fonts and coloring that make it easier for visually impaired people to roam the site. Although digital stores are not the only type of website that are required to abide by this law, they are easier to sue (due to their commercial nature). Failure to provide accessibility may expose digital store owners to high fines and claims, and it is important to avoid this.

4 – Make sure to check what other laws you are required to follow

In addition to all the laws mentioned above, there are additional rules and regulations that you must follow. For example, food products that you sell must meet the various standards of the Ministry of Health; intoxicating drinks are not to be sold at night; and certain products are not to be sold to minors. These are just a few examples, and some rules depend on the specific case at hand. Consulting a lawyer who specializes in Internet law and commercial law can help you understand how to run your store in accordance with the law.

Opening a Digital Store – Contact a Lawyer Who Specializes in Internet Law

If you have any questions about opening a digital store, you can contact us using the phone numbers or email address listed below, and a lawyer from our firm will be happy to help you. Our law firm specializes in Internet law and commercial law, and provides individuals, companies, and business owners with legal advice and assistance in properly managing their digital assets.

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