E-commerce has experienced an enormous increase, which has been accelerated by the current lockdown of practically the entire world.  Following this increase, individuals who promote their products through social networks play an important role. The number of profiles exposing articles for sale through publications, “stories” has also grown exponentially. It is common to find in profiles the possibility of buying clothes, decorative items, illustrations, etc., which regardless of not being directly sold through the profile, they promote their sale and facilitate it through links to the websites where they are sold.

In this promotional activity that is carried out on social networks, as well as in e-commerce, it may happen that articles which are promoted, reproduce third parties’ designs without the authorization of the owner who has the rights over the item, or the articles have incorporated trademarks, without having a legitimate authorization to do so. The same can happen, for example, with the copyright that a photography has per se or a poster, or even with an invention protected by a patent of a third party. Logically, the question for the owner of such rights is: What can I do?

Well, first of all, you can report the facts to the relevant social network by requesting the closure or removal of the content of the account that is potentially infringing your rights. The providers of these services assume a policy of commitment to help individuals and organizations to protect copyright and industrial property rights. But, even when the relevant social network closes the profile that either infringes copyright or the industrial property rights, the website through which the sale operations are carried out can remain operational, since the social network cannot exclude a service provider from the network, which can only be achieved by the will of the owner of the page or by a court decision.

The owner of the industrial property rights (a design or a brand) or copyright (a photograph, for example) has available more effective mechanisms to enforce his IP rights, which will be more resolutive and shall prevent future infringements set out in the corresponding legal framework. In this sense, it is worth mentioning the criminal actions for criminal offences that are settled in the Criminal Code, being also possible to claim damages within these proceedings. However, on occasions, it may be more appropriate to initiate civil actions before the commercial courts, based on the special Acts regulating the protection of industrial property rights or Copyright, asking the court to cease the infringing activity and damages, among other possible claims that may be accumulated.

There is therefore a wide range of possibilities for obtaining protection in the possible scenario of an IP infringement. Each specific case will require a strategy, but always with the aim of preventing the infringement from continuing and obtaining compensation for damages.