Monthly Archives: March 2012

Electronic Trading Of Medical Drugs In India

Electronic Trading Of Medical Drugs In IndiaElectronic trading or online shopping of commodities is a fast, efficacious and cost effective method of business and commerce. However, e-trading is not a free ride but is subject to well defined rules and regulations world wide. This is more so regarding pharmaceutical products that require an additional precaution while dealing in an online environment.

We have no dedicated e-retailing laws and regulations in India. However, the basic outline of the same has been laid down in the information technology act 2000 (IT Act 2000). The IT Act 2000 is also the sole cyber law of India that primarily deals with contraventions and offences pertaining to e-commerce and e-trading in India.

While we have basic level e-commerce legal framework in India yet e-health related legal framework is missing. For instance, e-health in India is facing legal roadblocks. Till now we do not have any dedicated e-health laws and regulations in India. In the present environment, the legal enablement of e-health in India is urgently required.

This is so because when technology is used for medical purposes, it gives rise to medico legal and techno legal issues. In United States, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act), etc are some of the laws that take care of medico legal and techno legal issues of e-health and telemedicine.

As far as India is concerned, we have no dedicated e-health and telemedicine laws in India. Even essential attributes of these laws like privacy protection, data protection, data security, cyber security, confidentiality maintenance, etc are not governed by much needed dedicated laws.

Ordinary commodities can be comfortably sold through e-commerce websites. However, health related commodities, especially prescribed medicines and drugs, are not easy to manage in an online environment. This is the reason why we have almost nil e-trading of prescribed drugs and medicines in India as on date.

E-trading of medical drugs in India must be undertaken only after complying with the laws of India. There are many cyber laws due diligence requirements in India that e-traders of medical drugs in India must comply. Similarly, foreign websites targeting India for this purpose must also comply with Indian law in order to do legitimate business in India.

Since the issue is of great public interest, Indian government must formulate a dedicated e-trading law for medical drugs in India so that online illegal sale of medical drugs to Indian residents can be curtailed. Presently, many foreign websites are openly offering sale of medicine drugs to Indian residents through e-mails and other digital channels. Such conduct of these foreign companies and websites must be regulated in India so that harm to public at large can be avoided.

Legal Issues In E-Commerce In India

Legal Issues In E-Commerce In IndiaElectronic commerce is one of the most profitable business ventures in India these days. Not only its present growth is good but even its future and projected growth is tremendous.However, e-commerce in India is also required to be conducted in a legally permissible manner. This is more so when the information technology act 2000 (IT Act 2000) prescribes stringent penal and pecuniary penalties for violation of its provisions during e-commerce transactions.

The natural question arises as to what are the basic e-commerce laws in India that various e-commerce players must adhere to in order to escape civil and criminal sanctions? Although we have no dedicated electronic commerce laws in India yet the IT Act 2000 covers many aspects of the same. IT Act 2000 is the sole cyber law of India that has been invoked on numerous counts against e-commerce portals and Internet intermediaries in India who violated the provisions of the same.

The legal requirements for undertaking e-commerce in India also involve compliance with other laws like contract law, Indian penal code, etc. Further, online shopping in India also involves compliance with the banking and financial norms applicable in India. For instance, take the example of PayPal in this regard. If PayPal has to allow online payments receipt and disbursements for its existing or proposed e-commerce activities, it has to take a license from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in this regard. Further, cyber due diligence for Paypal and other online payment transferors in India is also required to be observed.

With the active use of electronic commerce in India the electronic commerce dispute resolution in India is also required to be strengthened. The present litigation system of India is not conducive for the growth of e-commerce n India and online dispute resolution in India is more appropriate for such purposes.

Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) have launched dedicated platforms for resolving e-commerce, domain name, commercial, technological and cross border disputes resolution in India and word wide. These include platforms named Electronic Courts, E-Judiciary, ODR India, Online Arbitration, etc.

Finally, for those who wish to engage in cloud computing, virtualisation and other Internet based services in India, Perry4Law and PTLB recommend that they comply with techno legal regulations of India. Virtualisation and cloud computing service providers in India must not only follow the encryption laws of India but they must also ensure cyber law due diligence in India. This is more so when the cyber law due diligence for companies in India has become very stringent and foreign companies and websites are frequently prosecuted in India for non exercise of cyber due diligence.

Perry4Law and PTLB wish all the best to all e-commerce players in India and abroad.

Digital Communication Channels For Drugs And Healthcare Products In India

Digital Communication Channels For Drugs And Healthcare Products In IndiaE-commerce in India is booming and pharmaceutical and health care industry is also eying upon the same for greater reach and more profits. However, legal enablement of e-health in India is still missing. In fact, e-health in India is facing legal roadblocks. Till now we do not have any dedicated e-health laws and regulations in India.

In such circumstances, online sales and purchase of prescribed drugs and medicines in India is a tricky issue that is full of legal landmines. In countries like United States there are laws like Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act), etc. However, in India we have no such laws to take care of e-health, telemedicine and similar issues.

Further, online shopping in India has many legal and cyber security issues to be resolved. For instance, essential legislations ensuring privacy protection, data protection, data security, cyber security, confidentiality maintenance, etc are missing in India. This makes online sales and purchases vulnerable to cyber crimes and financial frauds. This is the reason why cash on delivery is still the preferred mode of e-commerce payments in India.

Cyber law due diligence in India is another area that e-commerce and online drugs and healthcare products platforms must take care of. Cyber law due diligence for Indian companies is one of the most frequently litigated aspect in India. Lack of cyber law awareness and cyber due diligence awareness is the main reason that many websites and companies have found themselves in the net of Indian laws.

In order to remain profitable and competitive pharmaceutical companies are looking towards digital mediums to communicate with physicians and patients. For instance, recently pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has indicated its intention to utilise digital communication channels for dealing with its drug and healthcare products.

With the growth of information and communication technology (ICT), physicians and patients are increasingly looking online for information on ailments and their treatments. However, techno legal and medico legal issues cannot be ignored otherwise legal actions can follow.

Online Shopping In India: Legal And Cyber Security Issues

Online Shopping In India Legal And Cyber Security IssuesE-commerce in India has finally got the attention of Indian entrepreneurs and they are exploring various avenues in the e-commerce segment. At this stage almost all of them are interesting in establishing their e-commerce platforms. Very few of such e-commerce players in India are interested in complying with techno legal requirements of e-commerce in India

Further, e-commerce in India is still largely based upon small sales and purchases and cash on demand is the preferred mode of payment in India. The concept of cash on demand may hamper e-commerce in India. Further online payment systems of India are maturing at this stage.

For a full fledged e-commerce infrastructure and system of India to operate we need a strong and secure online payments mechanism. Although an integrated banking system is in pipeline yet the present internet banking system, online payments mechanism, etc are not up to the mark. Further, the present banking, financial and regulatory environment of India need to be streamlined.

Cyber crimes and financial frauds have further shaken confidence of Indian e-commerce customers in online payment methods. ATM frauds, credit card frauds, internet banking frauds, etc are flourishing in India as Indian banks and financial intermediaries are not paying enough attention to cyber security.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has in the past asked Indian banks to ensure robust cyber security but Indian banks have still not implemented the same. RBI has now issued a strict warning to Indian banks that if they do not ensure cyber security now, RBI would take strict action against them.

Cyber law due diligence in India is another area that e-commerce and online shopping platforms must take care of. Cyber law due diligence for Indian companies is one of the most frequently litigated aspect in India. Lack of cyber law awareness and cyber due diligence awareness is the main reason that many websites and companies have found themselves in the net of Indian laws.

Online shopping and e-commerce in India must be encouraged but at the same time legal and cyber security issues must also be taken seriously. Online payment players and e-commerce stakeholders must keep these aspects in mind while doing business in India.

Cash On Delivery May Harm E-Commerce In India

Cash On Delivery May Harm E-Commerce In IndiaE-commerce players in India are trying every possible method to woo customers. Besides discounts, cash on delivery (COD) has been developed as a mechanism to enhance consumer’s and customer’s trust in the e-commerce business model.

Cash on delivery has an obvious advantage that consumers in India are more comfortable with the same. However, it has a major drawback as well .Cash on delivery results in delayed payments, higher rejection rates and longer turnaround.

Cash on delivery method was devised at a time when there was limited knowledge and little awareness about e-commerce in India. Similarly, sticking to cash on delivery was also required as there was not much broadband penetration, technological access and technology awareness among Indian masses.

Now things have changed and sticking to the old cash on delivery method may not be productive in the long run. Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) believe that in an ideal e-commerce model, cash on delivery percentage should not be more than 20% of the total e-commerce sales and revenues. If it is more than 20%, additional costs and unintended inefficiencies may creep in.

While public awareness about both e-commerce and technology use may have increased yet Indian e-commerce industry is suffering from a serious drawback. We have no dedicated e-commerce laws and regulations in India. E-commerce legal issues are still governed by the information technology act, 2000 (IT Act 2000) that is the cyber law of India. We need a dedicated e-commerce law in India to meet the growing techno legal challenges of e-commerce.

A sound legal framework is also required as future shift from cash on delivery to online payments would raise many techno legal issues that Indian e-commerce players have yet to face. A new e-commerce legal framework for India must be established as soon as possible.

E-commerce platforms can be greatly benefited if they have an internal or affiliated dispute resolution mechanism at place. For example, use of online dispute resolution (ODR) in India can be a good option at e-commerce platforms. In fact, use of ODR for e-commerce disputes resolution is the latest trend word over.

We at Perry4Law and PTLB are managing the exclusive techno legal e-courts centre and ODR centre of India where techno legal disputes of e-commerce platforms, corporate houses, individuals, international organisations, etc are resolved.

If you are an e-commerce platform that wishes to safeguard your techno legal interests, feel free to contact us in this regard with your proposal. We would take care of all your techno legal issues pertaining to e-commerce.

E-Commerce Laws In India: Research And Publications

E-Commerce Laws In India Research And PublicationsElectronic commerce (e-commerce) is all set for big growth in India. However, legal and regulatory requirements of e-commerce are stringent in nature. In fact cyber law due diligence in India and internet intermediary liability in India are very stringent.

E-commerce websites are Internet intermediaries within the meaning of information technology act 2000 (IT Act 2000). The IT Act 2000 is the cyber law of India that also governs e-commerce regulatory framework. After the passing of the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011 of India, e-commerce websites must comply with valid legal requests to retain their safe harbour protections.

Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) have compiled a list of legal articles that are relevant for understanding the techno legal aspects of e-commerce in India. These articles are:

(1) Legal Requirements of Undertaking E-Commerce in India

(2) E-Commerce Laws In India

(3) E-Commerce Lawyers and Law Firms in India

(4) E-Commerce Laws In India-II

(5) Electronic Commerce Laws in India

(6) E-Commerce Regulations and Laws in India

(7) E-Commerce Dispute Resolution in India

(8) Online Dispute Resolution For Cross Border E-Commerce Transactions

(9) E-Health Laws and Regulations in India

We hope our readers would find these articles useful and these articles would help them in establishing and running a legally sustainable e-commerce business in India.

Electronic Commerce Dispute Resolution In India

Electronic Commerce Dispute Resolution In IndiaElectronic commerce laws in India are in their infancy stage. Presently we have no dedicated electronic commerce laws in India and legal requirements for undertaking e-commerce in India are still maturing.

Similarly, adoption of online disputes resolution (ODR) in India is also at early stage. Corporate disputes and online disputes resolution in India and e-commerce disputes resolution in India are the upcoming trends that corporate world of India is exploring. Particularly, many e-commerce players in India have shown their interest in using ODR for resolving their customers’ disputes in an online environment.

Electronic commerce brings both comforts and discomforts to its users. The comforts include on the spot sales and purchase, competitive costs, convenience, saving of time, etc. The discomforts include frauds and cyber crimes committed against e-commerce users. At times there are disagreements and dissatisfactions as well among buyers and purchasers that cannot be resolved using traditional litigation methods.

This is the reason why we need alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism to resolve e-commerce disputes in India. E-commerce regulations and laws in India are limited in nature and this does not allow use of ADR mechanisms and technology driven solutions. For instance, while European Union and other nations are increasingly using online dispute resolution (ODR) for resolving many aspects of e-commerce disputes yet online dispute resolution (ODR) in India is still not known.

Similarly, establishment of e-courts in India can also facilitate early and effective e-commerce disputes resolutions in India. However, till February 2012 we are still waiting for the establishment of first e-court in India. E-courts and ODR in India are urgently required to reduce backlog of cases and for reducing increasing pressure upon traditional courts. E-courts and ODR can also help in e-commerce disputes resolutions in India.

Some of the areas where we must pay special attention include technology related dispute resolution in India, film, media and entertainment industry dispute resolution in India, cross border e-commerce dispute resolution in India, etc. E-courts and ODR can be effectively used for all the abovementioned purposes.

E-commerce players in India have many techno legal obligations to follow and cyber law due diligence in India is one such obligation. Not only legal requirements for undertaking e-commerce in India are stringent but even Internet intermediaries liability in India must be taken seriously by companies engaged in online transactions and businesses.

Realising that cyberspace can bring many commercial benefits; both individuals and companies are ensuring that they have strong online presence. More and more brand promotion and protection in India are done these days in an online environment. Companies and individuals are also ensuring domain name protection in India so that their reputation and goodwill is not misappropriated by others. Brand protection, reputation management and domain name cyber squatting disputes are at rise and the same can be resolved using e-courts and ODR in India.

However, there is a general lack of awareness regarding use of e-courts and ODR for e-commerce disputes resolution. Further, there are very few e-commerce lawyers and law firms in India that can provide expert services in this regard. E-commerce players must also be aware that other laws, including intellectual property laws, can make these e-commerce players labile for civil and criminal actions.

For instance, these e-commerce players can be held liable for online infringement of copyright in India of the copyright owners. Similarly, if any person posts an offending material at the e-commerce site or otherwise deal with the e-commerce site in an illegal manner, the e-commerce site owner may find himself in trouble.

Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) strongly recommend that before opening an e-commerce website or business, the owner of the same must consult a good techno legal law firm that can advice him upon all the possible and applicable aspect of e-commerce laws in India. Further, Perry4Law and PTLB also recommend active use of e-courts and ODR in India for resolving e-commerce disputes resolutions in India and corporate disputes in India.

We also believe that more effective and useful e-commerce laws in India must be formulated that expressly deal with e-commerce aspects in India. Let us hope that these suggestions would be implemented by Indian government very soon.