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Ethics of intellectual property, knowledge and skills

Ethics of intellectual property, knowledge and skills

The world today is situated more and more on information and information technology. Information is thought as "knowledge gained through review, communication, research, or instruction" (dictionary. com). When someone creates this knowledge using their brains, who has this information? Does indeed this intellectual information become general public domain, benefiting society, or can this information be safeguarded so that monetary gain can occur for that reason idea?

Designers of new products and systems must understand different types of intellectual property in order to both protect their masterpieces and avoid infringing on the creations of others. However, a broader impact often occurs when a new product or technology is employed in ways that were not anticipated by its original designers but which impact intellectual property owners and society at large. When this occurs, intellectual property laws and insurance policy do not stay static, but change in reaction to the new conditions.

The tensing of laws regulating intellectual property has been paralleled by a reliable increase in the economic and cultural importance of intellectual-property protection under the law. The entertainment industry has long been heavily dependent on intellectual property; the fortunes of record companies and movie studios are directly tied to their potential to enforce the copyrights on the products. In the same way, pharmaceutical companies have used the monopoly power created by their patent privileges to impose high prices for their products, which includes allowed them both to protect the great costs of producing new drugs and to make considerable income. Other, newer market sectors have become equally or even more reliant on intellectual-property privileges. The programmers and marketers of computer software, for example, insist that their ability to remain in operation is dependent on the power to prevent the unauthorized reproduction of these creations. Intellectual-property cover is widely thought to be even more important to the quickly growing biotechnology industry, where the development of new techniques of genetic anatomist or of new life-forms using such techniques can be extremely expensive. Biotechnology businesses argue that, if they were unable to prevent rivals from imitating their creations, they would not be able to recoup their costs and so would have no incentive to purchase the research and development essential for clinical breakthroughs. Companies retailing goods and services over the Internet have made similar promises concerning the value of their names of domain.

The strengthening of intellectual-property privileges has not found with unanimous authorization. Some critics argue that it's immoral for pharmaceutical companies to utilize their patent rights to set prices for their Supports drugs at levels that cannot be afforded by the majority of people in Africa and Latin America who have problems with the disease. Others explain that many trademarked drugs are developed by using the hereditary material of crops found in tropical regions and the data of indigenous communities concerning the plant life' medicinal power. Current patent rules, however, awards the exclusive right to market and profit from such drugs to the pharmaceutical companies, leaving uncompensated the countries and indigenous groups whose contributions were necessary to the completed products.

Perhaps it is a tremendous supposition to claim that one should not grab what others have created. Yet, in some ways, that principle is exactly what the intellectual property regulations imply we honor. However, the matter isn't that simple in its request. We may have a simple sense of right and wrong. In addition, we've the intellectual property system to support that sense, but there may also be used little harmony between the two. Greedy elements may wish to control information that others may consider essential to their ability to function in society. As Moor observes:

In order to thin the distance between morality and the law, we must utilize ethics, which includes an edifying function. The goal of ethics, recall is to make our morality far better. Respect for intellectual property is an ethical principal that can enhance the common goals of intellectual property and our moral intuition. It really is similar enough to our morality to have the ability to improve in into action. Principled ethics, in this instance, must stand half way between your rules and morality. (p. 36-37)

This paper will verify intellectual property combined with the ethical (and unethical) ways that folks and businesses use property privileges to their advantages. Specific types of companies using intellectual property for profit and the moral issues that they face will be revealed, combined with the decisions that these companies have made on what's ethically right.


Need the definition of an patent.

According to america Patent and Brand Office, the 35 U. S. C. 112 Specification states that who owns the patent is awarded a total or exclusive monopoly for the duration of the patent. That is a substantial possession right. In return, the patent holder must, as part of the patent software process make a total disclosure in sufficient detail so that a person skilled in the skill to that your technology pertains can practice the invention. (MPEP). That is an uncompromising duty. Within the patent software one must disclose to the Patent Office all information recognized to that individual to be materials to patentability. If it's later discovered that full disclosure had not been forthcoming, it might be grounds for rejection of the patent request.

The Supreme Court docket is examining the privileges of patent owners in new solutions and the types of invention at the mercy of patentability. The question of software patentability offers a case in point. Just this month, the Supreme Court docket is reading testimony on what types of inventions should be entitled to patent. Their decision will have huge ramifications in the software community.

In a worst-case situation for the high-tech industry, the ruling could invalidate many existing software patents or at least make sure they are more difficult to defend in lawsuits. Furthermore, it might make such patents harder to obtain in the future because software is normally patented as a process for doing something alternatively than as a physical invention.

"A number of the best-known business-method patents in technology emerge from electronic business, including Amazon. com Inc. 's "1-Click" tool for concluding online acquisitions and Priceline. com Inc. 's "Name Your Own Price" model. Yet many big companies, especially in technology and financial services, argue that such patents are too broad and all too often used as weapons in costly infringement lawsuits to draw out licensing fees. " (Tessler)

The range of software patents has been climbing sharply lately - a reflection of the technology industry's explosive progress and the increased reliance on software in every industries. Add a graph here. Some court docket rulings upholding software patents in the 1990s, including an integral circumstance in 1998 that opened up the floodgates to business-method patents as well, also helped drive up software patent quantities. Not everyone agrees software patents are a very important thing, though.

Rob Tiller, assistant basic counsel for software company Red Head wear Inc. , preserves that software patents actually discourage innovation because software coders are in constant risk of infringing on existing patents. Red Head wear embraces the open-source activity, which makes software code openly available for anyone to alter, improve and use which is fundamentally at possibilities with software patents. Patents are not only for software companies though.

A troubling situation is unfolding in the pharmaceutical sector in the U. S. : pharmaceutical companies are more and more resorting to a variety of abusive and anti-competitive practices in an effort to preserve monopoly revenue and keep maintaining market show. By exploiting loopholes in a regulation originally approved to help the speedy access of universal drugs into U. S. marketplaces, some pharmaceutical companies have been able to either suppress or postpone general competition.

Pharmaceutical companies (both brand-name and general) have attempted to "game" a system originally designed to increase generic competition and improve consumer welfare. By exploiting loopholes in a rules transferred to increase common competition, drug manufacturers in the U. S. have become more profitable without providing any related gain to consumers (To Promote advancement p 5). The amount of misuse in the U. S. pharmaceutical industry is reflected in the increasing number of private lawsuits against brand-name companies and/or general companies for abuse of patent rights. Mistreatment is also shown in the growing quantity of antitrust enforcement activities affecting both brand and generic drug manufacturers that the National Trade Percentage is pursuing (FTC p 17)

One popular form of maltreatment is through anti-competitive agreements between brand-name and universal medication companies. Another form of mistreatment is the inappropriate report on patents by brand name companies coupled with frivolous lawsuits against general companies, which have the effect of delaying FTC approval of a common medication. Some companies also engage in false and deceptive advertising and marketing practices aimed only at discouraging use of universal drugs once they are on the marketplace.

One of the abusive techniques is the use of collusive contracts between brand-name manufacturers and common manufacturers, which are aimed at keeping the first generic off the marketplace, thus blocking all succeeding generics from getting to the marketplace.

An contract between a general drug manufacturer and a brand-name drug company can effectively prevent generic competition for the brand-name medication for an indefinite period. In exchange for agreeing not to enter the market, the generic medication maker is given a trim of the gains by the brand-name producer, which likes a continuing monopoly. In a single case, a brand-name medicine company reportedly paid $4. 5 million per month to a general manufacturer so that it would not market its common (Leuenberger-Fisher p 420).

Overall, by illegally manipulating the patent process and the FDA authorization process to delay universal marketing, brand-name companies, sometimes in collusion with general companies, accumulate thousands and thousands in additional sales (Pollack p 27). The best victims in the patent game are consumers who are denied access to cheaper drugs.


Copyright is a form of intellectual property that provides the author of an original work exclusive right for a certain time frame with regards to that work, including its publication, syndication and adaptation, and time the task is thought to enter the public domain. Copyright pertains to any expressible form of a concept or information that is substantive, discrete, and set in a medium. Some jurisdictions also realize "moral protection under the law" of the originator of any work, including the right to be acknowledged for the work.

The concept of copyright originates with the Statute of Anne (1710) in Great Britain. A good example of the purpose of copyright, as expressed in the United States Constitution, is "To market the Progress of Technology and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Creators and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respected Writings and Discoveries" (Constitution).

Copyright has been internationally standardized, lasting between fifty to a hundred years from the author's fatality, or a shorter period for anonymous or corporate and business authorship.

The Statute of Anne was the first real copyright act, and offered the authors privileges for a set period, a fourteen season term for everyone works shared under the statute, and the copyright expired. Copyright has grown from a legal principle regulating copying rights in the posting of catalogs and maps to 1 with a significant effect on practically every modern industry, covering such items as acoustics recordings, films, photos, software, and architectural works. Copyright will not cover ideas and information themselves, only the form or way they are portrayed.

A copyright, or aspects of it, may be allocated or transferred from one party to some other. For example, a musician who reports an album will most likely sign an contract with an archive company where the musician agrees to copy all copyright in the recordings in exchange for royalties and other things to consider. The inventor and original copyright holder benefits, or desires to, from creation and marketing capacities far beyond those of the writer. Within the digital age group of music, music may be copied and distributed at little cost through the web. If this is done illegally, then the process is called digital piracy.

The music saving industry, combined with the film and gaming business, are in the forefront of any discussion relating to this issue. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) have been quick to cast judgment on the new systems and their users, damning any individual who illegally acquires copyrighted digital materials and claiming that these people are in charge of the industry shedding "huge amount of money per day" (RIAA 2007).

In the previous few years the music industry has been working with the issue of ethics in copyrighting as it pertains to downloading songs minus the payment to the owners who hold the copyright for the material. Using materials that another musician has copyrighted is unethical, but should the music industry have copyrighted protection for music that is listened to? The music industry is burning off millions, if not billions, from materials that is free to download, as this eliminates a source of income from the music industry as the person listening to the copyrighted music is not purchasing this content but downloading or using it minus the industry making a revenue off it. Critics state that with an increase of copyright protection a handful of corporations will severely hinder creative imagination in the digital time.

The music industry believes it is unethical to download, swap, or shed music where they have the copyright on. According to Wired Magazine, the music industry is "on the brink of collapse, waging an unwinnable battle against technology" (p ?). Just how admirers get music has modified from in the past with the arrival of Internet data file sharing as the music industry feels this is stealing music. The music industry's response has gone to hire many legal professionals to file lawsuits against those, who they feel, are stealing the music through record sharing. The Taking Industry Association of America has brought copyright infringing lawsuits against a large number of those who reveal files and have been looking to get Congress to penalize them as well as the technology they use.

File writing is the take action of sharing files so others can download music from that each file. It is shown that over 3. 5 billion songs per month are downloaded illegally in america by itself. The Music industry and the major brands are not taking this sitting down considering all the money they are getting rid of.

In terms of copyrights, some assume that the music industry is employing this argument of piracy to restrict and make more benefit from data that needs to be open to all free of charge. Stanford University laws professor Lawrence Lessig, a fighter of Internet liberty, said this on the problem of needing a new eye-sight of copyright meanings by proclaiming:

We don't desire a new perspective. We just need to recognize what the original eye-sight has been. The original vision defends copyright owners from unfair competition. It has never been a way to give copyright holders perfect control over how consumers use content. We need to be sure that pirates don't setup CD pressing plant life or contending entities that sell equivalent products. We need to stop worrying about whether you or I take advantage of a song on your computer and then transfer it your MP3 player.

Critics declare that with more copyright security and building up copyrights a small number of corporations will significantly hinder creativeness in the digital get older.

Within the music industry, from songwriters to executives, there's a misunderstanding of the value of copyright legislations has on their occupations, as there are myths about the fundamentals of the law. A good example of this is actually the belief that the law allows people to control ideas whichis wrong as the laws of copyright only protect the ways the idea is indicated not the real idea. That is a fundamental argument by those who feel music can be downloaded and burned up without copyright cover.

Another way the industry is trying to cope with piracy is appealing to the government that form of piracy is unethical, illegal and really should be penalized. In 1998 U. S. Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act as the bill was originally supported by the program and entertainment sectors, and opposed by researchers, librarians, and academics. The music industry has used this work, designed to stop piracy, to bring thousands of lawsuits against individuals that have downloaded illegally. The music industry has gained many of these individual cases winning monetary compensation. The Tracking Industry Relationship of America cited the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Take action to bring legal action against Verizon looking to force those to reveal the labels of members possibly downloading it illegally, arguing the take action gives movie studios, record companies, software coders and other copyright owners the right to subpoena Internet providers with no judicial approval. Increasingly more of these situations are brought, but the thousands that the circumstances are against do not compare to the a huge number who still download. Within the recent file showing case of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. The Supreme Court docket had the carrying on copyright question of how will be the interests of designers, innovators, and the general public balanced best? Considering data file sharing is ever more used for legal purposes the Supreme Judge sided with Grokster and refused to safeguard the music industry further.

The ethics by means of copyright protection is seen through different lenses from the members in the debate as the music industry is made for more coverage and other people who believe that by more protection brings less independence and the fact that the multimedia giants will have a larger control over designers and hinder creativity. The lovers that download music free and many times illegally have a say in it as well as they are definitely against more safety yet it is a kind of piracy, or stealing, which is unethical.


How should society examine ethically those situations where intellectual property privileges conflict with general public access rights? It has been shown that the legal system provides different answers, which is influenced by countrywide legislation. However, it is visible that large businesses are spending large sums of money to effect this legislation, or finding ways to circumvent the legal system framework for intellectual property totally.

These businesses are intent on making the most of their companies' earnings, while concurrently turning a blind attention on the moral issues that arise from limiting intellectual property that is clearly a benefit to society. Their response to the moral dilemma is these companies wouldn't normally be able to stay in business because competition would copy all their ideas plus they would not be able to remain competitive. However, this business model is flawed.

Only certain kinds of information are protected by copyright and patent laws, yet information not secured could possibly be the foundation for large business marketplaces though it can be readily copied. For example, ideas and facts are not shielded by copyright and patent rules: An individual or a small business can spend hundreds of hours and millions of dollars researching and evaluating new ideas to see what is most effective in confirmed situation, or on discovering and verifying facts (like the listings in a mobile phone directory). Quite simply, there can be just as much effort put into discovering a concept or discovering a couple of facts such as those used in the medical, the legal, and business neighborhoods. A competition can generally replicate these results which is currently legal. Yet it does not stop folks from discovering ideas or compiling facts and making huge revenue from them A good example includes the delivery paradigms employed by both FedEx and UPS.

Does this mean that individuals would make as much money as they might without copyrights or patents? The response cannot be known, but there is certainly evidence to point that business will continue as typical. This proof includes the fact that some of the best works were created and released, while the makers were able to make a living, before copyrights and patents came about a couple of hundred years back, and the actual fact that certain companies are able to increase substantive earnings even though everything they create is freely copyable. A good example of this might be Red Head wear Software Company talked about earlier, who created a lucrative business model around free, wide open source software.

There is a turmoil between intellectual property protection under the law and usage of information that can better society. While there will be gray areas about what honest decisions should be produced bordering intellectual property, businesses today are leveraging their electric power so that there is no discussion on the subject. Contemporary society must be cognizant of these intellectual property issues and speak up about them, or companies will continue their unethical techniques.

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