|CIMPRESS N.V. filed this Form 10-Q on 11/03/2017|
If we are unable to protect our intellectual property rights, our reputation and brands could be damaged, and others may be able to use our technology, which could substantially harm our business and financial results.
We rely on a combination of patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights and contractual restrictions to protect our intellectual property, but these protective measures afford only limited protection. Despite our efforts to protect our proprietary rights, unauthorized parties may be able to copy or use technology or information that we consider proprietary. There can be no guarantee that any of our pending patent applications or continuation patent applications will be granted, and from time to time we face infringement, invalidity, intellectual property ownership, or similar claims brought by third parties with respect to our patents. In addition, despite our trademark registrations throughout the world, our competitors or other entities may adopt names, marks, or domain names similar to ours, thereby impeding our ability to build brand identity and possibly leading to customer confusion. Enforcing our intellectual property rights can be extremely costly, and a failure to protect or enforce these rights could damage our reputation and brands and substantially harm our business and financial results.
Intellectual property disputes and litigation are costly and could cause us to lose our exclusive rights, subject us to liability, or require us to stop some of our business activities.
From time to time, we receive claims from third parties that we infringe their intellectual property rights, that we are required to enter into patent licenses covering aspects of the technology we use in our business, or that we improperly obtained or used their confidential or proprietary information. Any litigation, settlement, license, or other proceeding relating to intellectual property rights, even if we settle it or it is resolved in our favor, could be costly, divert our management's efforts from managing and growing our business, and create uncertainties that may make it more difficult to run our operations. If any parties successfully claim that we infringe their intellectual property rights, we might be forced to pay significant damages and attorney's fees, and we could be restricted from using certain technologies important to the operation of our business.
Our business is dependent on the Internet, and unfavorable changes in government regulation of the Internet, e-commerce, and email marketing could substantially harm our business and financial results.
Due to our dependence on the Internet for most of our sales, laws specifically governing the Internet, e-commerce, and email marketing may have a greater impact on our operations than other more traditional businesses. Existing and future laws, such as laws covering pricing, customs, privacy, consumer protection, or commercial email, may impede the growth of e-commerce and our ability to compete with traditional “bricks and mortar” retailers. Existing and future laws or unfavorable changes or interpretations of these laws could substantially harm our business and financial results.
The failure of our business partners to use legal and ethical business practices could negatively impact our business.
We contract with multiple business partners in an increasing number of jurisdictions worldwide, including sourcing the raw materials for the products we sell from an expanding number of suppliers and contracting with third-party merchants and manufacturers for the placement and fulfillment of customer orders. We require our suppliers, fulfillers, and merchants to operate in compliance with all applicable laws, including those regarding corruption, working conditions, employment practices, safety and health, and environmental compliance, but we cannot control their business practices. We may not be able to adequately vet, monitor, and audit our many business partners (or their suppliers) throughout the world, and our decentralized structure heightens this risk, as not all of our businesses have equal resources to manage their business partners. If any of them violates labor, environmental, or other laws or implements business practices that are regarded as unethical, our reputation could be severely damaged, and our supply chain and order fulfillment process could be interrupted, which could harm our sales and results of operations.
If we were required to review the content that our customers incorporate into our products and interdict the shipment of products that violate copyright protections or other laws, our costs would significantly increase, which would harm our results of operations.