Ethics and Intellectual Property Essay Sample

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Intellectual property has a big impact on our country as a whole. Many institutions in our world rely on being able to use and enforce their patents, trademarks, and copyrights. This also allows people to buy something and have insurance that the property can be rightfully sold, and that the product is guaranteed to be what they wanted to purchase. “Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce” (“What is Intellectual Property?”).

Intellectual property covers a wide range of things that are branched into two different categories. Industrial Property includes the patents to protect things such as inventions, trademarks, layout designs of integrated circuits, and industrial designs. Copyright is related to the creations by artistic people, such as books, music, paintings, film, technology programs, and sculptures. “The expression of copyright refers to the main act, which in respect of literary and artistic creations, may be made only by the author or with his authorization” (“Understanding Copyright and Related Rights”, 2013). Why Is It Important To Protect Intellectual Property

Intellectual property contributes lots of money into our economics yearly. People use their skills and create something for the enjoyment of others to hear, see, or use. If these people were not able to protect what they have spent their time on, why would anyone bother with being creative and create anything new. Artists would not continue to paint for the public, musicians would not create new music and put them on radio stations or CD’s, and computer programmers would not continue to develop the latest technology to make everyday life more interesting.

People are not going to do something that they can not safe guard and potentially make money off of. It is the right of the person to receive money for the time they spend on creating new creative things. The protection of intellectual property allows people to protect what is rightfully theirs and it also gives them comfort on putting it in the publics reach.

Intellectual property brings economics to our country not only by the people who create something new. The protection of intellectual property also creates and supports jobs for many Americans. There is an intellectual property industry that employs “over 55 million Americans and hundreds of millions of people worldwide” (“Why Are Intellectual Property Rights Important? | Global Intellectual Property Center”, 2010). The protection of intellectual property creates a lot of economic growth to our country and it also makes people willing to create new things, because they know their creativeness will be guarded.

When people go against the laws that protect intellectual property, the company or person would pursue punishment in court. There are many cases a year that go to court because someone has gone against the intellectual property law. This law governs that legal action can be taken against the person who violates the law. Such as in the case Wiley V. Kirtsaeng Intellectual Property Case

The Wiley v. Kirtsaeng case is known to observers as “one of the most important copyright case in nearly a decade” (“A 5-Minute Guide to ‘Kirtsaeng v. Wiley’ – Legal – The Chronicle of Higher Education”, 2012). This case is important to all people who publish and sell text books to higher education. The case has made it all the way to the Supreme Court for arguments.

Supap Kirtsaeng was a student who built a small business that imported and sold textbooks to other students. John Wiley and sons, the textbook publisher, is suing Kirtsaeng for selling books that had been printed and legally purchased overseas and sold them for a profit on ebay. The evidence shows that the student made over one million dollars selling books.

The reason that Wiley and sons is suing him is they believe that he Kirtsaeng infringed on its copyrights. “Mr. Kirtsaeng defended himself by invoking the first-sale doctrine, a long-held principle of U.S. copyright law that gives the purchaser of a particular copy of a copyrighted work the legal right to resell that copy.” (“A 5-Minute Guide to ‘Kirtsaeng v. Wiley’ – Legal – The Chronicle of Higher Education”, 2012).

The question that needed to be answered decided by the courts was if the student had the right to legally produce textbooks made in foreign markets and sold overseas, and then imported back to America and resold. The first trial that the student went to, he was found guilty of copyright infringement and was expected to pay Wiley and sons $600,000. Kirtsaeng is appealing the case to the U.S. Supreme Courts and the court system is going to hear the case starting in April. Conclusion

Intellectual property needs to be protected, especially for those who are the creators of that property. There needs to be patents and copyrights to protect people to what is theirs and it also gives those people the right to dictate when their stuff can be sold or copied. If the law that protects intellectual property had never been passed, I would guess, that people would not be so willing to be so creative and share it with the public.

There is still not a clear line of how far is to far when it comes to intellectual property rights for those businesses who have employees who work for them, especially in the digital world. There can be many people who have their ideas into an idea that is created. When does the line get drawn on how far a company can protect what is being produced by their employees.

The only right thing people can do when thinking about what they believe is their share in certain IP projects, is to consider what is ethically right. What is ethically right for the business and the person who help create something? It is also true on people who consider copying things on line that are not rightfully theirs. People have to recognize that in this digital world, you can not just have what ever you want because it is at the tip of your fingers. People are protected with the law to have the right to say when their stuff can be shared.


A 5-Minute Guide to ‘Kirtsaeng v. Wiley’ – Legal – The Chronicle of Higher Education. (2012).Home – The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from Understanding Copyright and Related Rights. (2013). WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization. Retrieved from What is Intellectual Property? (n.d.). WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization. Retrieved from Why Are Intellectual Property Rights Important? | Global Intellectual Property Center. (2010).Global Intellectual Property Center. Retrieved from

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