Law and Ethics Chapter 24 Intellectual Property

  1. techinical and business information material that can be protected by trade secret law:
    • customer lists
    • designs
    • instructional methods
    • manufacturing processes
    • product fomulas
    • document tracking processes
  2. what constitutes a trade secret
    • extent in which the information is known outside the claiments business
    • measures taken by the claiment to guard the confidentiality¬† of the information
    • value of information to competitors
    • amount invested in developing the information
    • efforts to maintain trade secret confidentiality among the claimants employees and third party vendors
  3. trade secrets
    information or articles that are to be kept secret because of its particular value (it does not expire over a fixed perios of time like a patent does)

    - formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process that meets the following criteris:

    • - derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use
    • - is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy. Economic value must be identified by the owner and secrecy must be kept
  4. misappropriation
    acquisition of a trade secret of another person who knows or has reason to know that the trade secret was acquired by improper means, or any disclosure or use of a trade secret of another without express or implied consent
  5. the UTSA does not contain any criminal santions, many states have added a separate set of statues that make certain trade secret misappropriation a criminal offense
    economic espionage act: federal statute passed in 1996 providing criminal penalties for domestic and foreighn theft of trade secrets
  6. discovery of protected information through independent research or reverse engineering is NOT misappropriation
  7. trademark
    word, symbol, or phrase used to identify a particular sellers product and distinguish them from other products

    service marks if for a service, ex: Visa cards

    trade dress- refers to the shape or color scheme of its packaging (if the company can prove an exclusive link to the source product in the consumers mind)

    • instills brand loyalty
    • instant recognition
    • ensures that competitors cannot have a "free ride"
  8. Classification of trademarks
    • mark must be distinctive
    • Arbitrary or Fanciful- no logical realtionship, marks are highly distinctive and are thus afforded a relatively high level of protection, Ex: Kodak, Google
    • Suggestive- evokes images of underlying product, marks tend to be highly distinctive and are given a high level of protection, Ex: under armour clothing
    • Descriptive- Marks are NOT inherently distinct and may only gain trademark protection if they have acquired a secondary meaning (hard because those are frequently common terms that are connected to the product, may also have another meaning in a different context, Ex: Microsofts Windows), Ex: Pizza Hut.
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Law and Ethics Chapter 24 Intellectual Property
Law and Ethics Chapter 24 Intellectual Property