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Title: Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is a term used to describe works of the mind, such as art, books, films, formulas, inventions, music, and processes, that are distinct and "owned" or created by a person or group. Copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets provide a complex body of law regarding the ownership of intellectual property, which represents a large and valuable asset to most companies. If these assets are not protected, other companies can copy or steal them, resulting in significant loss of revenue and competitive advantage.

A copyright grants the author of an original work the exclusive right to distribute, display, perform, or reproduce the work in copies, to prepare derivative works based upon the work, and to grant these exclusive rights to others. Copyright law has proven to be extremely flexible in covering new technologies, including software, video games, multimedia works, and Web pages. However, evaluating the originality of a work can be difficult and has led to litigation. Copyrights provide less protection for software than patents; software that produces the same result in a slightly different way does not infringe a copyright because no copying occurred.

A patent enables an inventor to sue people who manufacture, use, or sell the invention without permission while the patent is in force. Not only does a patent prevent copying, it prevents independent creation (an allowable defense to a copyright infringement claim). Unlike copyright infringement, for which monetary penalties are limited, if the court determines that patent infringement exists and is intentional, it can award up to triple the amount of the damages claimed by the patent holder.

To qualify as a trade secret, information must have economic value and must not be readily ascertainable. In addition, the trade secret's owner must have taken steps to maintain its secrecy. Trade secret law doesn't prevent someone from using the same idea if it was developed independently or from analyzing an end product to figure out the trade secret behind it. However, trade secret law has three key advantages over the use of patents and copyrights in protecting companies from losing control of their intellectual property: there are no time limitations on the protection of trade secrets, unlike patents and copyrights; there is no need to file any application or otherwise disclose a trade secret to outsiders to gain protection; and there is no risk that a trade secret might be found invalid in court.

To plagiariz e means to steal and pass off the ideas and words of another as one's own. Students need to understand what constitutes plagiaris m and how to properly cite sources, especially information from electronic sources and databases. Plagiaris m detection systems enable people to check the originality of documents and manuscripts.

Reverse engineering is the process of breaking something down in order to understand it, build a copy of it, or improve it. Reverse engineering was originally applied to computer hardware, but is now commonly applied to software. In some situations, reverse engineering can be considered unethical because it enables access to information that another organization may have copyrighted or classified as a trade secret. Recent court rulings, shrinkwrap license agreements for software that forbid reverse engineering, and restrictions and exceptions in the DMCA have made reverse engineering a riskier proposition in the United States/>/>.

Open source code refers to any program whose source code is made available for use or modification as users or other developers see fit. The basic premise behind open source code is that when programmers can read, redistribute, and modify it, the software improves. It can be adapted to meet new needs, and bugs can be rapidly identified and fixed.

Competitive intelligence is not industrial espionage, which employs illegal means to obtain business information that is not readily available to the general public. In the United States/>/>, industrial espionage is a serious crime that carries heavy penalties. Almost all the data needed for competitive intelligence can be collected from carefully examining published information or through interviews. Competitive intelligence analysts must take care to avoid unethical or illegal behavior, including lying, misrepresentation, theft, bribery, or eavesdropping with illegal devices.

The main tactic organizations use to circumvent cybersquatting is to protect a trademark by registering numerous domain names and variations as soon as they know they want to develop a Web presence. In addition, trademark owners who rely on non-English speaking customers should also register their names in multilingual form.

Question: What is the best way for a software manufacturer to protect new software?


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Dec 08, 2020





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