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APCO 1P50 (12)
Harry John (11)


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Applied Computing
Harry John

APCO 1P50 Wednesday October 31, 2012 Patents  Patent infringement o Making authorized use of another’s patent o No specified limit to the monetary penalty  Software patent o Protects feature, function, or process embodied in instructions executed on a comp o 20,000 software-related patents annually have been issued since early 80’s  Some experts think the number of software patents being granted inhibits new software development.  Main goal of patents: to protect a person’s intellectual property.  Before obtaining a software patent, do a patent search.  Software Patent Institute is building a database of information  Software cross-licensing agreements o Large software companies agree not to sue each other over patent infringements o Small businesses have no choice but to license patents if they use them  Average patent lawsuit costs $30-$10 million  The Patent Office has made mistakes  Defensive Publishing o Alternative to filing for patents o Company publishes a description of the innovation o Establishes the idea’s legal existence as prior art o Costs mere hundreds of dollars o No lawyers o Fast  Patent troll firm o Acquires patents with no intention of manufacturing anything; instead, licensing the patents to others.  Standard is a definition or format o Approved by recognized standards organization or accepted as a de facto standard by the industry  Patent farming involves: o Influencing a standards organization to make use of a patented item  **Diagram of the Patent System** Trade Secrets  Business information, represents something of economic value.  Requires an effort or cost to develop  some degree of uniqueness or novelty  Generally unknown to the public  Kept confidential  Information is only considered a trade secret if the company takes steps to protect it.  Trade secret law has a few key advantages over patents and copyrights o No time limitations o No need to file an application o Patents can be ruled invalid by courts ** see sakai APCO 1P50 Wednesday October 31, 2012 APCO 1P50 Wednesday October 31, 2012 Trade Secrets Laws  UTSA – Uniform Trade Secrets Act  EEA – Economic Espionage Act Employees and Trade Secrets  Employees are the greatest threat to trade secrets  Unauthorized use of an employer’s customer list o Customer list not automatically considered a trade secret o Educate workers about the confidentiality of lists  Nondisclosure clauses in employee’s contract o Enforcement can be difficult o Confidentiality issues are reviewed at the exit interview  Non-compete agreements o Protect intellectual property from being used by competitors when key employees leave o Require employees not to work for competitors for a period of time o Wide range of treatment on non-compete agreements  Safeguards o Limit outside access to corporate computers o Guard use of remote computer
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