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11 - The Legal and Regulatory Environment of Business(15th...

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The Legal and Regulatory Environment of Business (15 th Ed.) Chapter 11 Intellectual Property in the Property System Property Definition : “Property is the legal right to exclude others from resources that are originally possessed or acquired without force, theft or fraud.” Why do we protect intellectual property? I. Trade Secret Law A. Trade Secret is any form of information: (1) that the owner has taken reasonable measures to keep secret; and (2) which has economic value from not being known to the public. What are “reasonable measures”? What constitutes “economic value”? B. “Misappropriation”- taking of trade secrets; this may be a crime and a tort Civil Enforcement – injunctions & damages Criminal Enforcement – fines & jail time “Economic Espionage Act” (federal law) See examples on p. 325 Note: States have their own trade secret laws See Sidebar 11.3 Sport Drink Secrets p. 324 1
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II. Patent Law - U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) A. Obtaining a Patent - pay a filing fee and make an application a. Application must: i) Explain how to make and use the basic invention; ii) Show why the invention is different from prior art (all previous inventions); and iii) Precisely describe the aspects of the invention - A patent examiner decides if the patent should be granted B. Patentable Subject Matter a. processes b. machines c. compositions of matter d. improvements to processes, machines, or compositions of matter e. nonfunctional designs of a manufactured article f. certain plants C. Patent Requirements: Nonobviousness, Novelty and Usefulness a. Nonobviousness - must not be a result anticipated by prior art
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