Last Updated 18 Nov 2022

Intellectual Property 

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Businesses and corporations are often founded with hope of making a profit in the long run. For profit businesses main goal seems to be just this. However, no matter how great an idea may be or seem, without shareholders and consumers, the business cannot be successful. This is why the balance of business needs and consumer needs is important. Without the consumer, the company cannot continue to exist, must less prosper. Kanter has set out to argue just this and to encourage companies change the way they view their assets “Great companies work to make money, of course, but in their choices of how to do so, they think about building enduring institutions. They invest in the future while being aware of the need to build people and society”. Kanter realizes that consumers need to be valued and put at the core focus in order for a company to thrive. Apple and Samsung walk a fine line between intellectual property integrity and increasing prices for their product. There is a tension between the creator and consumer of intellectual property. The purpose of intellectual property is it is created for consumers to use, however the creator wants to remain the sole proprietor of the property. The creator can obtain a patent but patents are only good for so long, ensuring the original creator sole proprietorship for a timed period. Both parties want to benefit, so how do we balance this so all parties remain content while maintaining fairness. In figuring out how to find this balance keep the Bible in mind “ Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share”. With this in mind we, creator and consumer alike, may better be able to find a plausible solution.

It holds true the inventor or creator of property has a right to profit from it. One way to resolve some of the tension created between consumer and creator is through a rewards system. It is costly to create tangible intellectual property. In order for this process to be worth it to the owners and shareholders there has to be compensation for these costs. Through patents, trademarks, and other property rights systems the creators are better able to protect themselves against stolen intellectual property without completely excluding others. With a reward system properly put in place “the creator of intellectual property is compensated for the cost of creation, but because the creator has no right to exclude others from access to the property, the price is forced down to marginal cost by competition from copiers”. Looking to the ongoing issues between Apple and Samsung we can see this put into action. Each company continues to develop new technology in order to compete with one another. It seems these companies are constantly coming up with new ideas and new property to add to their technology and offer consumers. However, like the case in our text, sometimes the lines become blurred as to whether the ideas are original enough to be called their own. This competition is what drives new ideas while keeping the cost of the intellectual property down for the average consumer. Keeping in mind the rewards system previously discussed, owners and shareholders will be able to make a profit, or return on their investments, so long as they keep positive relations with consumers.

While it is important to make the consumers of your property feel safe to use it, the creator must also protect their property. There are several things that can be used to protect such property including trademarks, copyrights, and patents. While these things are useful in protecting a creator’s sole ownership of their creative property, they can be costly. Successful intellectual property is good for the economy, however, due to its success; it is also of interest to criminals. Violations of intellectual property is harmful not only to the creator and the economy but also to the consumers “Criminal violations of IP rights have potential negative effects for U.S. innovation and investment, on the value and reputation of individual companies, and for consumers who are put at risk by substandard or dangerous products”. It is important to stop these criminals before they get started through proper protection such as trademark and trade dress. It is said that counterfeit products are on the rise in areas including medicine, infant formula, and auto parts, amongst others. If tampered with, these products could be dangerous to society and patients alike, as well as practitioners who may get wrongfully blamed for the prescription of an unknown counterfeit product. To help protect all of those involved there are now eight federal agencies responsible for protecting these intellectual properties, along with the entities that fall under them. These entities have a duty to protect the community and creator from such wrongdoers.

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Those who do harm to others need to be condemned. In a Biblical scope “Is it not ruin for the wicked, disaster for those who do wrong?” . It is natural for humans to sin no matter how hard we may strive to live as Jesus did we humans are not perfect. The Lord knows this, hence sacrificing his son for us. However those who do wrong, know they are doing wrong, and deserve to be punished accordingly. In order to protect consumers and creators alike these 8 entities must attack before we are attacked. To summarize business must remember the consumers are at least as important as the product, if not more important, as consumers generate a profit, continuing the existence of the company. To protect their property creators can seek copyrights, patents, and trademarks along with trade dress for consumers to easily recognize the correct product. With appropriate trade dress practitioners, patients, and society will better able notice when something is off, pointing to counterfeit or pirated goods. However obtaining a patent is an expensive, yet necessary, in the creation of intellectual property. Therefore in order for the creator to profit from their property, a rewards system needs to be put in place. Such a reward system must compensate these costs while maintaining a realistic price point for consumers. There are many evils in the world tempting all of us each day. Through all of this we must keep a Biblical worldview and pursue the light, rather than the darkness “Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor”.

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