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Bug, Inc Legal Protection Essay

956 words - 4 pages

IntroductionBUG, Inc., a company based in Connecticut, designs, manufactures, and sells electronic recording devices. These devices are used by law enforcement agencies (police, FBI, etc.) to intercept and record sounds and voices. The equipment taps into telephone wires, cell phone transmissions, and picks up sounds and voices through the walls of a house or in open-air locations through the use of a remote microphone. Part of the equipment is driven by software written by BUG employees. BUG has exclusive contracts with most state and federal law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. This paper will discuss the legal protections BUG should have for its intellectual property.BUG, Inc - legal protectionIntellectual PropertyIntellectual property law is conventionally categorized according to subject matter: inventions, artistic expression, secrets, semiconductor designs, and so on. Intellectual property law regulates what people may legally do with these inventions, expressions and so on. Most intellectual property rights are nothing more than the right to sue an infringer, which has the effect that people will approach the right-holder for permission to perform the acts covered by the right-holder's exclusive rights. The granting of this permission is termed licensing; a license is 'permission' to do something, in contract form. IP licenses may be used to impose conditions on the licensee, generally the payment of a fee or an undertaking not to engage in particular forms of conduct.Industrial EspionageThe United States has state-based statutory protection for trade secrets. In an effort to increased protection in proprietary technology, the United States recently enacted the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, which made stealing trade secrets a federal criminal offense. The legal system protects the owner from someone who uses improper means to learn the trade secret, either directly or indirectly. Thus, anyone using improper means to learn the trade secret has breached a duty of good faith dealing with the trade secret owner. The breach of that duty of good faith usually takes the form of (1) an abuse of a confidence, (2) the use of improper means to ascertain the secret, or (3) a breach of contract. Anyone involved in the breach of that duty is liable for trade secret misappropriation.Tort LiabilityHarm caused by one person to another, other than through breach of contract, and for which the law provides a remedy: (1) intentional torts - a harmful act that is committed on purpose, (2) assault - the threat of imminent physical harm, (3) battery - nonconsensual physical contact that violates an individual's bodily security.E-commerceNormally, when a business or an individual sells a domain name, any gain on disposal would be taxed under the capital gains rules as a gain on the disposal of an asset. Where a business or individual trades in domain names for profit, the domain names would form trading stock, and sale proceeds would be...

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