What would you do?

7. Because of the amount of the expense, your companyís CFO had to approve a $500,000 purchase order for hardware and software needed to upgrade the servers used to store data for the Product Development Department. Everyone in the department had expected an automatic approval, and they were disappointed when the purchase order request was turned down. Management said that the business benefits of the expenditure were not clear. Realizing that she needs to develop a more solid business case for the order, the vice president of product development has come to you for help. Can you help her identify arguments related to protecting intellectual property that might strengthen the business case for this expenditure?

Intellectual property is no different than real property. Just because it is not tangible does not mean it has any less value. In most cases, I would place more value on intellectual property. An idea for something can be worth more than the actual item at times. The automobile or personal computer for example, think of the value those ideas had at their inception. A business must protect their intellectual property, and one of the ways of protecting that information is the upgrading of equipment.


8. You are the vice president for software development at a small, private firm. Sales of your firmís products have been strong, but you recently detected a patent infringement by one of your larger competitors. Your in-house legal staff has identified three options: (1) Ignore the infringement out of fear that your larger competitor will file numerous countersuits; (2) threaten to file suit, but try to negotiate an out-of-court settlement for an amount of money that you feel your larger competitor would readily pay; or (3) point out the infringement and negotiate aggressively for a cross-licensing agreement with the competitor, which has numerous patents you had considered licensing. Which option would you pursue and why?

My course of action would depend on who is committing the actual infringement. Does the guilty firm have a habit of being aggressive? Do they often file frivolous counter-suits to clog the legal system to the point of choking it to a halt? I would feel more comfortable with option (3), I would seek an amicable solution by pointing out the infringement, negotiate an inception fee to serve as a penalty, and then start a lucrative licensing agreement. In my opinion, if a licensing agreement is not reached, the infringing firm will simply change enough of the intellectual property in question to avoid any further legal action.





2. Alice Case Raises Concerns for the Future of IT Software Patents

1. How unique does an idea need to be to warrant patent protection? Should the idea of pre-roll advertisements be patentable?

A considerable portion of the work in question should be unique or original in order to be protected by patents. As long as an original work is unique, even pre-roll advertisements, should be patentable. They are not different from any other work thatís created.

2. Are patent trolls justified in their actions? Do they provide a means of rewarding small innovators?

Patent trolls are a huge problem and are a major flaw in the way our legal system is designed. These so called companies either acquire existing firms with the sole purpose of suing competitors or start a company that, in reality, their only product is filing lawsuits. These Ďpatent trollsí do nothing more than clog the legal system and choke it to the point that is comes to a screeching halt preventing legitimate cases to be heard.

3. Are patent lawsuits likely to decrease or increase innovation in the United States?

I feel they will increase. With devices and technologies becoming so similar, the water will become murky and convoluted allowing even more patent trolls to take aim at potential targets.



3. Google Book Search Library Project

1. Do you think that Google should have taken a different approach that would have allowed it to avoid litigation and a lengthy delay in implementing its Book Search Library Project? Please explain your answer.

I feel Google did what they had to. Had they not been pushed in that direction or backed into a corner, the outcome may have been different.

2. As a potential user, are you in favor of or do you oppose the Book Search Library Project? Please explain your answer.

I support Google in their efforts. We are in a digital age, everything is going to be digital. Its time this school of thought is embraced.

3. Do you think that the proposed settlement gives Google an unfair advantage to profit from creating an online service that allows people to access and search millions of books?

This is capitalism in action. Google was one of the first, one of the best, and thatís why they have an advantage.