Ethics In Technology Assignment 3 February 24, 201 5 The United States Constitution affords Congress the authority in granting certain inventors, and authors unique rights to things they have created, however, they do not provide details on how the rights are protected. In today’s world there are four ways Individuals and entitles protect their Intellectual property and they are: trade secrecy, copyright, and patents. Copyright is the legal protection given to published works, forbidding anyone but the tutor from publishing or selling them.
Copyright covers published and also unpublished works. Copyright, a form of Intellectual property law, protects the right to produce new works acquired from copyrighted work, the right to perform the work in public, to display copies of this work in public, the right to distribute copies in public, and the right to reproduce the copyrighted work (Quinn, Pig. 168). Copyright, however, does not protect ideas, systems, facts or methods of operation. Copyright may protect the way these things are expressed though.
Copyright allows protection of people’s original works of authorship. Trade Secrecy Is defined as valuable commercial Information that provides a business with an edge over competitors who do not have this information. Michael Quinn defines trade secrecy as “a trade secret is a confidential piece of intellectual property that provides a company with a competitive advantage. ” (Quinn, Pig. 165). In general trade secrecy includes Ideas, inventions or collection of data that’s used by businesses to make them successful.
Trade secrecy Includes useful formulas, patterns, plans, processes, programs, tools, techniques, mechanism, compound, or devices that are not generally known to the general public. Information that Is represented by trade secrecy must take reasonable steps to protect it from being declared. A patent is defined as a means in which the United States Government grants an Inventor exclusive rights to his or her intellectual property. As compared to trade secrecy, a patent Is a public document that provides a detailed description of said invention.
Currently patents are protected for 20 years, or the lifetime of the invention. This prevents others from using, selling, or making the invention. Unfortunately once the 20 years expires individuals have the right to claim the particular patent. Copyright, patents, and trade secrecy have legal protections under the law backed by enforced when these laws are violated. In 1985 the Superior Court ruled that Kodak infringed on patents that belonged to Polaroid Corporation when it comes to instant photos, Kodak had to pay Polaroid over $900 million in a settlement.
When it comes to trade secrecy even though it is not an appropriate way to protect intellectual property it is still protected by the law. An example is when the movie “Coming to America” infringed the trade secrecy of Art Buchwald, who was a producer. Buchwald gave an idea to Paramount Pictures called “King for a Day’ which Paramount did not pick up. Later Paramount released “Coming to America” which had the exact storyline of Buchwald idea. Buchwald successfully sued Paramount due too breach in contract.
Buchwald won because he signed a confidentiality agreement before hand. Finally in 1980 in “Basic Books vs.. Kink’s Graphics Corporation” (Quinn, Pig. 169), Kink’s was ordered by the court to pay over $500,000 in damage to Basic Books. Kink’s distributed brochures to college professors asking them for readings they used in their courses. Kink’s then used this material to produce reading material for students thus infringing on the copyrights of the said publishers. Quinn, Michael J. , Ethics for the Information Age (Fourth Edition)