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Thu Oct 23 09:37:02 PDT 2003


    Intellectual Property

    Home work

    Notes on pages 91-105

    Four Kinds of Intellectual Property

    There are four (4) kinds of intellectual property.
  1. IP::= copyright | patent | trademark | trade_secret.

    Trade Secrets

    The book omits the last of these. You need to know about it because source code and algorithms have been protected as a trade secret. However, it is weak and enforced by state law in the USA rather than the federal government:
     A trade secret holder is
     only protected from unauthorized disclosure and use of the
     trade secret by others and from another person obtaining
     the trade secret by some improper means.
    [ lawsec.pdf ] (NII).

    Copyrights, patents and trade marks are published and so need protection. A trade secret must not be published. The owner must actively keep it a secret. If the secret gets out... then they can go to court for infringement. A trade secret is no longer protected if you fail to keep it a secret.


    1. Introduction
    2. What & Why
    3. Legal Protection
      1. Copyright: of the expression of a published idea belongs to its author.
      2. Patent: for a process not an idea -- publication is good for society and will be rewarded.
      3. Trademark: for a word or symbol
      4. Missing in book [ Trade Secrets ]

    4. Moral Justification
      1. Labor Desert
      2. Personality Theory
      3. Utility

    5. Recent Legislation
      1. DMCA::act= See http://www.loc.gov/copyright/legislation/dmca.pdf, extends copyright law into cyberspace and to fit international treaties(WIPO). Also see [ http://anti-dmca.org/ ] the Anti-DMCA site.

      2. NII::paper= See http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/doc/ipnii/, a white paper on internet and intellectual property.

      3. CTEA::act= See http://www.loc.gov/copyright/legislation/s505.pdf, extended the term to 70 years after death of author, etc. and was challenged in Eldred_v_Ashcroft below.
      4. Eldred_v_Ashcroft::Supreme Court Decision Jan 2003=decided that CTEA is not unconstitutional. Search LexisNexis universe [ http://web.lexis-nexis.com/universe/ ] for details.


    1. Name and describe the four(4) kinds of intellectual property. Mention how they are obtained, what conditions apply for each, and how long each lasts.
    2. Why and how did the framers of the USA constitution choose to reward people for publishing their inventions?
    3. You write a neat editor and give it away to anyone who wants it. You explicitly refuse to copyright or patent it because you think this is wrong. Then you discover that a company has copied it and is selling it as part of another product. What do you do with the next tool you create?
    4. Define: public domain.
    5. If someone drops a wallet and you pick it up and remove the money: have you stolen the money? If someone drops a picture onto the web and you pick up a copy and sell it: have you stolen it?


    Work for next time

    IP on the Internet -- Read: 105-137 -- Write and hand in Notes.

    Go onto the WWW and research the GPL.

    . . . . . . . . . ( end of section Intellectual Property) <<Contents | Index>>


  2. public_domain::=the metaphorical place that a piece of work enters 70 years after the author dies.
  3. copy_left::=a copyright that lets you copy and use something but not sell it or give it to some one who will sell it. See GPL.
  4. GPL::="Gnu Public Licence", [ gpl.html ] copyrights the software and also gives a license to use, modify, and distribute it.

Formulae and Definitions in Alphabetical Order