Daniel J. Nauertz
Contemporary Business Law/421
Monday, May 21, 2012
E-Business and Intellectual Property
Companies may find that licensing is an attractive way to market their products in the United States particularly in industries where technology can quickly become obsolete. Licensing may be more effective and less costly than either exporting goods or establishing a branch or subsidiary. The U.S. government plays no part in promoting licensing in particular sectors. The U.S. system of patents and trademark licensing is highly developed and many licensing arrangements are possible between U.S. and foreign companies. Companies themselves may use licensing to tap into the domestic market expertise of U.S. companies but the disadvantage would be that companies may find the patent application and defence process to be expensive and time consuming and that licenses are subject to U.S. antitrust laws, such as the World Trade Organizations Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) framework. When analyzing the legal issues of e-business and intellectual property, one must include privacy, ethics and security. The U.S. has well developed systems of licensing that protects patents, trademarks and copyrights. Each has its own set of rules and procedures. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) of the Department of Commerce issues patents and trademark registrations. Any person who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter or any new and useful improvements of these may obtain a U.S. patent. The Patent laws make no distinctions based on the inventors citizenship. It is legal and customary to require employees to assign their patent rights to their employers. The basic law specifying the subject matter for which a patent might be obtained and the conditions for patentability took effect in 1953 (Title 45 of the US Code). The Ominbus Trade...