Theft of Intellectual Property

Theft of Intellectual Property - SRA 211 Theft of...

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Unformatted text preview: SRA 211 Theft of Intellectual Property Intellectual Property Intellectual property is America's competitive advantage in the global economy of the 21st century. From music and movies to pharmaceuticals and software, intellectual property touches every aspect of our lives. Theft of intellectual property threatens America's economic prosperity and the health, safety, and security of its citizens. Why is protecting intellectual property rights important? Counterfeit products and the theft of intellectual property have realworld consequences. Not only is intellectual property theft a threat to our economy, but it also can be a serious threat to our health and safety. Counterfeit batteries can explode, counterfeit car parts can fail to perform, and counterfeit pharmaceuticals can lack the ingredients necessary to cure deadly diseases. Why is protecting intellectual property rights important? What is intellectual property? Just as the law grants ownership rights over our material possessions, such as a home or an automobile, it also grants individuals ownership rights over intangible property, such as an idea or an invention. When a person creates something novel and unique, our laws recognize its value and grant the creator the respect and integrity of ownership. Constitution, Article I, Section 8 To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries. diversity of intellectual property There are distinct areas of the law that protect it: copyrights; trademarks, service marks, and certification marks; trade secrets; and patents. Copyrights Books, music, movies, artwork, and plays, among other creative works, can all be protected by copyrights. With certain exceptions, the owner of a copyright holds exclusive control over various rights associated with his or her works, such as the rights to reproduce, publicly distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, rent, record, or adapt the work. The protection lasts for a limited period of time, usually 70 years after the author's death. Copyrights Copyrights protect any creative work that is original and tangibly expressed. Although the physical expression of an idea is protected, the actual idea is not. Thus, facts presented in a work are freely available to the public, so long as the exact manner of expression is not copied. This allows society to benefit from the accessibility of facts and ideas themselves, while still protecting the original creative works that present those facts and ideas. Copyrights Copyright protection applies as soon as the work is expressed in a concrete form, without any need for the creator to apply for a copyright. A copyright owner, however, can register the work with the United States Copyright Office to create a public record of the creation. A trademark is any trait used to identify and distinguish a product or its producer. A service mark is any trait used to identify and distinguish a service. E.g., McDonald's golden arches design is a commonly recognized service mark and the Nike "swoosh" is a wellknown trademark; both immediately identify the companies they represent. A certification mark is a mark used to certify regional or other origin, material, mode of manufacturer, quality, accuracy or other characteristics of goods or services. E.g., Underwriters Laboratories' "UL" mark, which certifies the safety standards of electrical equipment. Trademarks, Service Marks, Certification Marks Certification Mark Registering a mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") confers important advantages on the mark owner. For example, the owner can obtain the exclusive right to use the mark in the United States and can exclude others from using the mark, or a comparable mark, in a way that would confuse consumers. Marks also are protected by antidilution laws, which ensure that a famous mark's distinctiveness cannot be blurred by the commercial actions of others, even if those actions fall just short of causing confusion. Federal trademark and service mark registration is necessary for federal criminal prosecutions for trafficking in counterfeit goods or services. Trademarks, Service Marks, Certification Marks Trade Secrets A trade secret is any confidential information used by a business that has some independent economic value and that is kept secret by those who possess it. The recipes for CocaCola and Pepsi, for example, are protected trade secrets. Trade secrets include scientific, technological, or business information, such as marketing strategies, and even information on "whatnottodo," such as failed or defective inventions. Patents From the composition of a new drug to the latest timesaving gadget, patents protect the world of inventions. They provide an exclusive right to the fruits of an invention for 20 years from the date the patent application is filed. In return, the patent applicant must agree to publicly disclose the basis for the invention, so that other members of the public may use the information freely to develop new products or ideas FBI Director, Robert Mueller, speech at PSU on November 6, 2007 on cyber security. "[Cyberspace has...] become the primary means by which we conduct business, store data and connect operating systems, from air traffic control to the power grids. That widespread use has also left us vulnerable to attack. Protecting America from terrorist attack is the FBI's highest priority. To date, terrorists have not successfully used the Internet to launch a substantial cyberattack. But in the past six years, Al Qaeda's Internet presence has become pervasive. The Internet has become a marketing tool, a moneymaker, a training ground and a virtual town square all in one." (1 hr) Video ...
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2008 for the course SRA 211 taught by Professor Luyong during the Spring '08 term at Penn State.

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