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Ethics and Intellectual Property

In: Business and Management

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Ethics and Intellectual Property
Ethical issues regarding intellectual property repeatedly arise in today’s world. Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, designs, artistic and literary works, as well as symbols, images, names used in commerce. The law protects IP with patents, copyright, and trademarks, all of which are legal means that are there to assist the creator in protecting unique ideas, inventions, and other non-tangible property and as well as giving the opportunity to receive recognition or financial benefit for what they invent or create (World Intellectual Property Organization, 2014).
Intellectual property affords competitive advantages to a company. “Defining IP as an asset aims to provide it the same protective rights as physical property. Obtaining such protective rights is critical as it prevents replication by potential competitors - a serious threat in a web-based environment or the mobile technology sector” (Cohen, 2011). One such case, where patents were violated was a lawsuit brought on by Apple against Samsung. In 2012, a U.S. jury found Samsung guilty on six out of seven accounts of violating patents Apple had filed. Four of the claims were regarding design patents, “related to the appearance of the iPhone (the use of white and black on the devices and the rounded edges on the user-interface icons, which Samsung was found to have violated, and the tablet computer’s rectangular design, which Samsung did not violate)” (Cusumano, 2013). Apple also filed three claims concerning utility patents, which involved both software and hardware that control how the device enlarges documents when “the user taps the screen, distinguishes single-touch versus multi-touch gestures, and appears to bounce back when scrolling to the end of a page” (Cusumano, 2013). Importance of protecting intellectual property...

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