Intellectual Property and Business


For my white paper, I will be focusing on intellectual property rights. Intellectual property can be defined generally as “patents, copyrights, and trademarks, which provide legal rights to protect ideas, the expression of ideas, and the inventors and creators of such ideas” (Brown 213). The fundamental debate surrounding this issue is the notion that legal protections of intangible ideas conflicts with the right to free expression and exchange provided in the First Amendment.

This topic is a complete left turn from my second paper, in which I used Corrections Corporations of America as a case to analyze the ethics of privatized prisons. However, it is also one I am little knowledgeable about and am very interested in exploring.

My business resource is entitled “Discovering New Value in Intellectual Property.” The authors of this article argue, “The knowledge economy has given rise to a new ecology of competition in which intellectual assets rather than physical assets are the principal wellsprings of shareholder wealth and competitive advantage” (Rivette 56). Implicit intelligence holds more value-generating power than explicit products and services for most modern corporations. By creating a shield of patents and copyrights, businesses can inhibit imitating competitors from obtaining tacit acumen and protect their market share.

Protecting intellectual property within an organization yields strategic market advantage, higher financial performance, and increased industry competitiveness. The article uses diverse real-world examples including IBM, Amazon, Xerox, Gillette, Dow Chemical, and others to assess the ways in which intellectual property company policies are most effective in growing commercial value. I am interested in comparing the recommendations of this article to the principles of government legislation as well as connecting these suggestions to social and economic implications. Do the different perspectives align?

Even though it was written in 1999, the analysis of intellectual property rights on an organizational level is still largely relevant. I found this report by searching Google Scholar for “intellectual property.” Because it was published by the Harvard Business Review, I am inclined to believe that this is a reliable source of business perspective.

Brown, William M. “Intellectual Property Law.” Molecular Biotechnology 23.3 (2003): 213-24. Springer. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.

Rivette, Kevin G., and David Kline. “Discovering New Value in Intellectual Property.” Harvard Business Review. January/February (2000): 54-66. Print.

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