Intellectual Property and Cyber Piracy

trade secretHave you ever wondered how companies find out secrets that other companies have? Trade secrets is what sets companies apart from one another. A lot of states have adopted the Uniform Trade Act to give statutory protection to trade secrets. But by law a company can legally buy something  from another company and analyze it to figure out the ingredients. I have witnessed this first hand.  Several years ago I worked for an automotive company. I was sent to the major headquarters in another country to learn how to build a certain vehicle. While I  was there I was able to tour several top-secret buildings that where underground. This company had bought other makes of vehicles and tore them apart to try to find out there trade secrets. It was very interesting to see. Some other forms of legal protection is available through trademarks, patents, and copyrights. Each one has its on meaning but they are all very similar. Trademarks protect things such as names, slogans, and logos. The one that most kids would recognize is            trademark

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Learning Reflection

I have learned a lot of things that I did not know through taking this course, especially new vocabulary.  I have been in a management position for almost 4 years, but I did not have any formal training in management or business skills–it’s kind of been a “learn as you go” type of position.  I’ve had a lot of help along the way, but I think it will be very beneficial to me to actually get a formal education in business.  Through out the course, we have covered a variety of topics that will help me in the future, especially if I want to move up in my current company.  We’ve covered everything from business ethics, to copyright laws, to the legal system, and I’ve even learned about how to set up my own business–although I hope that won’t be necessary anytime soon!!  I found the chapter on the criminal law very interesting.  I didn’t realize that there were so many types of theft.  I’ve heard a lot of the vocabulary words while watching TV, but I never knew for sure what some of them meant.  I guess some of those shows will make a little more sense now.  After having been part of a court case, I also appreciated the chapter on the court system.  There are so many legal terms that I am unfamiliar with.  I still think cases would be a lot easier if lawyers and judges used words that everyone could understand, but I don’t think that that is going to change anytime soon.  By the way, I am still trying to come up with the next big domain name.  Maybe I won’t need that degree after all….

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Have you ever wanted to start your own business?

Have you looked into franchising? This is a simple way to start a business. The name is already determined and so is the menu. The franchisee has access to the franchisor’s knowledge and resources while running his or her own business. In a franchise a lot of the decisions are already made for you.  In fact, you basically pay to sell someone else’s ideas or products. You don’t have to come up with any original ideas, products, or recipes.  Commercials for the franchises advertise for all of the individual stores, so you don’t even have to come up with your own advertising campaign. Usually, there is a particular slogan that every store in a franchise uses. Even the signs you hang in the windows of your business are designed for you. Sometimes, there is even a franchise-wide decorating theme with particular colors that must be used–just think about the McDonald’s sign. Every child above the age of 3 knows what it looks like, and just about everyone in the country knows what is on the menu.

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Performance of Traditional and E-Contracts

I found it interesting reading the case Krysa v. Payne. Believe it or not there are people in this world who really do things like this. This salesperson who falsely misrepresented the ford truck should have went to jail. This could have been a life threatening situation if there would have been an accident with this vehicle. The truck frame was made from two different vehicles and welded together to make one. The sales person also told the Krysas the truck was “a one-owner trade in.” After many issues with the truck and finally obtaining a CARFAX report, they found out that there were 13 prior owners. Thankfully the court of appeals found that the salesman fraudulent concealment, fraudulent misrepresentation, and reckless disregard for the safety of the Krysas and the public justified  a monetary amount.

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Entrepreneurship and Small Businesses

Have you ever wanted to start your own business? If you want to be an entrepreneur in today’s society you must think smart and aggressively. Most businesses start off very small and grow into large companies. Just look at Facebook, it was launched from a dorm room inside Harvard University. The program was an instant success in the college setting. Within a years time it had spread into high schools, geographical networks, and people’s home. Mark Zuckerberg, the mythic entrepreneur, has been called the youngest internet billionaire. There are three forms of business today. They are sole proprietorship, general partnership, and limited partnership. Sole proprietorship is the simplest form of business to start. It has many advantages such as: it doesn’t cost a lot to start the business, the owner has the right to hire and fire employees. The owner has the right to make all the management business decisions, and the owner has the right to receive all of the business’s profits.

Another form of business is General Partnership. This form is were two or more persons agree to carry on a business as co-owners for profit. The partnership may be oral, written, or implied from the conduct of the parties. It is a good idea to form a partnership agreement, or articles of partnership. This is a document to set the rules and to let each partner know how much rights they have. This form of business is also very easy to start-up. One thing that each partner most remember is if there is a liability claim on the business every partner is responsible unless noted in the partnership agreement.

The last form of business in this chapter is Limited Partnership. Limited partnership is were limited partners invest capital but do not have any say so in the management of the business. They are not liable for any of the business debts beyond their capital contribution. A limited partnership must have at least one or more general partners and one or more limited partners. It is also a good idea to form a limited partnership agreement or articles of limited partnership. This sets forth the rights and duties of each partners. 

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In the past five years our country has seen more companies and families file for bankruptcy. Has our economy hit rock bottom? I certainly hope so. I don’t see how it can get much worse. Whether these families or companies are filing for chapter 7, chapter 11, chapter 12, or chapter 13 it makes are economy terrible. We as Americans need to be able to spend money so that the economy can expand. If families and company’s aren’t spending money the economy is stagnant.


Remember this picture. If it wasnt for the government General motors would probably be out of business right now. There was so much talk about whether our government should have helped GM or just let them go out of business. They did what they thought was the right thing to do. It saved thousands of jobs. Whether you agree with the government’s decision or not, they did what they thought was best for our country. If they chose to let GM go bankrupt the economy would be much worse. The unemployment rate is already at an all time high. If GM had shut down some plants the northern states would have seen unimaginable unemployment rates.

Have you seen signs like this in people’s front yards? This sign means that the house has been repossessed by the bank. Once the bank forecloses on the property it can collect some of its debt back.

Several years ago UAL corporation who is a parent company to United Air lines filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 allowed them to retain their assets. This enabled them to continue to operate and to earn money to pay off their debts. Chapter 11 prevented the secured creditors from taking their assets. UAL unsecured creditors lost the majority of their investments.

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Sales, Leases, and Warranties

It’s funny that we are reading about sales, leases, and warranties this week. I am actually interested in buying a new or used vehicle this week. I have purchased my fair share of vehicles in my life. Probably too many. I have bought them outright and I have leased them. When buying a vehicle outright you pay a certain amount of money then the vehicle is yours to do whatever you want with it. When you lease a vehicle, you pay a certain percentage of the vehicle then return it for another or you can buy it for the remainder of the price. I found out the hard way that leasing a vehicle was not for me. They all came with warranties to ensure that the vehicles met a certain standard for me. Under this warranty, if anything went wrong I could return it and they would fix it or replace it. In today’s market,  you can even order and buy vehicles online. That’s why it is important that you understand E-Sales and E-Lease contracts.

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Cyber Law and E-Commerce

It seems strange that just a few years ago, we didn’t have the internet.  Now, it seems like we can’t function without it.  I don’t think anyone really realized how huge the internet was going to become.  It affects every aspect of our daily lives–you can even order a pizza online! Many people order things off the internet everyday, especially businesses.  Although it is very convenient, a guaranteed one-stop-shopping experience, it has created some problems, such as making it easier to steal someone’s identity, or to defraud a buyer.  Several actions have been taken to try to regulate online business.  The Uniform Computer information Transactions Act and the E-Sign Act are two of these.

We’ve all had to sign click-wrap licenses when downloading apps or software. When we click the “I agree” box on a company’s terms of agreement we’ve just agreed to a click-wrap license.  Licensing agreements allow the licensee to use information, software, music, etc. from the licensor for a particular period of time, or in a particular way.  Using it in any other way constitutes fraud on the part of the licensee.

I was amazed when I read about people purchasing domain names for $50 and selling them for millions— sold for $350 million!!!  I wish I could think of a domain name that someone might want to purchase in the future! 

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Formation of Traditional and E-Contracts

I have made some bets with friends not knowing that I could be sued over them. I have made several Bilateral bets in my lifetime, but I didn’t know that I was actually making a contract. If my friend wanted to he could really hold me liable for whatever we bet. Even if we just said a dollar or a thousand dollars. If you don’t understand law at all the person that makes the bet or offers it is called the offeror, and the person that receives or acknowledges it is called the offeree. There are so many different was to make a contract that you better be careful what you say or what you offer to bet. You may think that it is a joke, but someone else might see it differently. The next thing you know you’re in court being sued. I also found it interesting that minors have laws to protect them. The infancy doctrine allows them to cancel most contracts they have made with an adult. It seems like there is a law for everyone these days, but I guess we need them for protection against people trying to take advantage of others.

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Chapter 7 Criminal Law

After reading this weeks chapter I’m sure glad I haven’t ever been arrested. I have known people who have been arrested for stealing, but I didn’t realize that there were so many different types. I thought that if you took something that did not belong to you it was stealing. I didn’t realize it had to be classified as robbery, burglary, or larceny. I can see why some states have done away with these names and have just called the crimes theft. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of difference between the three.

I also know someone who was arrested because when he was a teenager he built a bomb, just to prove to his friends that he could. He was 18 when he built it. He took it to a party, the party got busted, and the police found the bomb. They took him to the police station and detonated the bomb, but did not arrest him or read him his Miranda rights.

Two and half years later the police showed up at his house with a grand jury indictment for his arrest. The crime was classified as a felony. Lucky for him he was granted youthful offender status so he did not have to serve any time.

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