Intellectual Property and Insurance

| May 7, 2019

Before you start on this assignment, make sure that you understand the distinctions and legal issues involved in the four main types of intellectual property—patents, trade secrets, copyrights, and trademarks. Miller (2008) and Bouchoux (2001) cover all four of these types of intellectual property, but if you are still unclear about any of these concepts, there are several other sources in the “Optional Readings” list that will also be useful for this assignment. In addition, read DuBoff’s (2004) chapter on business insurance. You will need to cite at least one source from the background materials in each answer, and include at least three total references from the background materials in your paper.

Once you have thoroughly reviewed the readings in the background materials and are comfortable with the concepts of intellectual property, write a four- to five-page paper addressing the questions regarding these five scenarios:

  1. You are the owner of a restaurant and have a special recipe for pesto sauce that has become the talk of the town. Given that around 80% of your business comes from your pesto pasta dishes, you decide that you need some kind of intellectual property protection for your recipe. Would you recommend a patent, trademark, copyright, or a trade secret? Explain your reasoning, and the steps you might take to protect your recipe from competitors.
  2. Suppose you are surfing the internet and come across the sheet music for a song that you really like. You are interested in recording a version of this song. You do not find a copyright on the webpage, and you also find out that the songwriter died a tragic death 20 years ago. Given the lack of a visible copyright and the death of the writer, are you good to go in terms of recording the song without any potential liability?
  3. Now suppose you own a jewelry shop, where you maintain impeccable security and safety. You employ a very efficient security staff, and have security cameras and the latest anti-theft technology installed throughout the shop. You decide you do not need extra theft insurance. However, you notice that your competitor across the street is quite lax with his security, and you think he is just begging to be robbed of all of his inventory. You call up your insurance agent to ask if you can purchase anti-theft insurance that will pay you (rather than your competitor) if your competitor is robbed. Does this type of insurance meet the definition of “insurable interest” that you read about in DuBoff (2004)?
  4. Suppose you run into a friend who has a new idea for a business or product every time you see him. This time, he is convinced he has invented a cutting-edge new management system called “Beverage-Based Management”, whereby employees improve their performance by drinking high-caffeine energy drinks with a shot of vodka during their lunch breaks. Your friend provides a pile of research studies showing that caffeine can increase alertness and productivity, while alcohol can reduce inhibitions and increase communication between employees. You are a bit skeptical of his idea, but think some companies might buy his system (at least for comedy purposes). Your friend wants to get a patent on “Beverage-Based Management.” Having read Bouchoux (2001) and Miller (2008), you know that in order to acquire a patent, the idea must be useful, original, and non-obvious. Do you think your friend’s idea meets any of these three criteria? If not, is there another form of intellectual property that you would recommend to your friend?
  5. Your business owns a piece of heavy machinery that is worth $300,000. However, your insurance agent has no idea how much the machinery is really worth. You are considering two options. One is to purchase a policy that insures your machinery for $250,000. You figure this will save money on your insurance bills. You are also considering insuring your machinery for $350,000. You figure if you get this policy, you will pay more for the insurance, but if your machinery is destroyed, you will not only get back enough money to purchase new machinery, but a $50,000 bonus to boot. For both of these, what kind of payment do you think you would receive if your machinery is destroyed and your agent discovers the true value of your machinery? Make sure to cite DuBoff (2004) in your answer.

Assignment Expectations

  • Answer the assignment questions directly.
  • Stay focused on the precise assignment questions. Do not go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general background materials.
  • Make sure to use reliable and credible sources as your references. Articles published in established newspapers or business journals/magazines are preferred. If you find articles on the Internet, make sure they are from a credible source.
  • Reference your sources of information with both a bibliography and in-text citations. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper, including pages 13 and 14 on in-text citations. Another resource is the “Writing Style Guide,” which is found under “My Resources” in the TLC Portal.

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Intellectual Property and Insurance
Debtor/Creditor Relations, Agency, and Employment

Category: Completed Assignments

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