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B.U.G. Inc. Paper

In: Business and Management

Submitted By polemistis87
Words 1663
Pages 7
B.U.G. Inc. Paper
LAW/421
May 9, 2013

B.U.G. Inc. Paper

BUG Inc. is one of the largest manufacturers within confines of the United States that produces and sells electronic recording devices that are heavily used by law enforcement agencies, i.e., police, FBI, etc. to intercept and record sounds and voices. These products that are manufactured by BUG are highly dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands. These electronic devices have the ability to tap into telephone wires, cell phone transmissions, and even intercept sound waves and voices through the walls of any room in any house or open areas. BUG wants to expand its product internationally, but is hesitant to pursue because of possible detriments that it may have in regards to the different types of legal protections, civil liabilities, torts, and down to its privacy, security, infringement issues, and email contract validity. BUG Inc. hired a group of specialists to define these problem areas and discuss the importance of why it should be taken care of.
Bug, Inc. should have several protections for its intellectual property. The protections include trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights, and patents. The Uniform Trade Secret act and common law protect the secret processes, formulas, methods, procedures, and lists that provide Bug, Inc. with economic advantage. This protection lasts for the life of the entity or owner. For example, customer lists with contact information, buying patterns, and credit histories involving Bug, Inc. are protected by the Trade Secret act.
Services marks and trade dress fall into the realm of trademarks. The Lanham act along with some state and federal common law help protect Bug, Inc.’s trademark, which is a logo of a ladybug wearing a set of headphones. Trademarks are defined as words, symbols, or phrases that identify a particular seller’s product or service. Trade dress extends the trademark protection to shape or color scheme of a product. This duration of this protection is unlimited as long as the owner actively protects or “policies” the use of the mark. The Google logo is one of the most world famous and successful logos to date. The Visa credit card logo is an example of service marking while iPod’s shape is an example of trade dressing.
Under the Copyright act of 1976, any of Bug Inc.’s publications can be protected. This protection has a limited duration: 70 years from death of the author, 120 years from date of creation per work for hire, and 95 years from publication. Federal Statutes and the Patent act protect Bug Inc.’s patents. Patents are exclusive rights for inventor’s to make, use, license, or sell an invention. An example of patenting includes owning the rights to a newly discovered pharmaceutical. The scientist who made the discovery can protect his discovery and receive all the credit by disclosing his trade secrets. However, no one else will be able to copy his work or duplicate his procedures to achieve a similar result. The patent act protects Bug, Inc.’s patents for 20 years from filing except for design patents whic WIRETAP employees and other businesses are expected often required to conduct themselves ethically. Much of the law is based on ethical standards and responsibilities set forth for businesses and its employees. When and employee is put into a condition in which they are led to question their responsibilities or actions, this should then lead the person to question the moral relativism of the situation. Businesses have to maintain their corporate social responsibility. In the case of Steve, neither Steve nor WIRETAP upheld their ethical responsibilities due to the fact that Steve deliberately misrepresented himself with BUG, Inc. and WIRETAP as negligent of Steve activities through the rule of respondent superior. Steve and employee of WIRETAP, was sent to BUG, to commit espionage. BUG, Inc. unaware of the fact that Steve is still with WIRETAP hired him and assigned to work at the Research and Development department. Steve then forwarded any information about But to WIRETAP through interception of internal memos and hacking. With this scenario, Steve and WIRETAP will face civil lawsuit for their illegal actions and acts of espionage in accordance with The Economic Espionage Act of 1996. It is a federal crime to steal trade secrets. Steve obtained confidential information and secrets from BUG, Inc. through hacking and theft therefore committing a tort. He also violated his duty of accountability with BUG, Inc. WIRETAP is also responsible for Steve tortuous manner since he is acting within the authority of WIRETAP.
WIRETAP’s participation exposes the company to an enormous accountability. There are numerous lawsuits the company will face; the company may also have to pay civil penalties to cover the expenses of the litigation. The civil law is divided into three main areas and in this particular scenario it would fall under property. Property deals with establishing and enforcing the rights of possession and ownership.
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as RICO act is most commonly used in cases of racketeering, blackmail, and conspiracy, but is also successful in “the ability to charge or sanction individuals for their behavior and actions committed against witnesses and victims in allege retaliation for cooperating with law enforcement or intelligence agencies” (Cornell University Law School). The purpose of RICO act is to held a business or the person legally responsible in committing the wrongful act, which in case is Steve. In the case of the RICO act with regards to WIRETAP versus BUG, Inc., the later must prove that WIRETAP played a substantial role in Steve conspiring to retrieve confidential information from them. Furthermore, BUG, Inc. must also prove that there was some kind of motivation for Steve to be spy for WIRETAP. For example, Steve continuous to be on the payroll at WIRETAP while employed at BUG, Inc. is protected for 14 years.
Walter, who is a security guard for BUG, Inc., realized that Steve was working for WIRETAP at the same time working for BUG. He then made the decision to detain Steve in a small soundproof room for six hours to find out Steve's purpose at BUG, Inc. Walter, in this scenario committed torts by falsely imprisoning Steve against his will. False imprisonment is described as the "intentional confinement or restraint of another person without authority or justification and without that person's consent" (Bernstein, 2009). Although Walter is a security guard for BUG, Inc. it does not give him the authority to keep Steve in custody and interrogate him. Another crime committed by Walter in this situation is assault. While Walter had Steve in the soundproof room, he threatened Steve that he would hurt him if Steve does not confess everything. According to the “Your Law Dictionary”, assault is described as (1) the threat of immediate harm or offensive contact, or (2) any action that arouses reasonable apprehension of imminent harm. Actual physical contact is unnecessary. Though Walter did not do something on his threat, he still could face assault charges for the reason that he presented the intent to harm Steve and Steve responded to the frightening condition. BUG, Inc. may be accountable for Walter's actions because the torts committed by Walter occurred while he was acting within range of his employment with BUG, Inc. An employee acts within the scope of employment when performing work assigned by the employer or engaging in a course of conduct subject to the employer's control. An employer may be held liable if it is shown that the employee had improperly carried out his duties.
The security of BUG will be ensured by ensuring the integrity of the system. The messages sent to BUG will be secure and will not be changed or tampered. There will also be excellent authentication wherein BUG will satisfy itself with the authenticity of the message and there will be a double check to ensure that the message was actually received from the sender.
The information that BUG gets of its customers will not be disclosed to anyone, nor will it disclose the identity of its customers. BUG will also encrypt customer related data so that it cannot be used by some other person. There are several infringement issues relating to BUG. If some other company/person copies the software of BUG, copies the design of the voice recording devices, the name BUG or the logo BUG there would be an infringement of copyright, patent and trademark of BUG and would be liable for legal action.
E-mails are an acceptable form of communication. In case of breach of contract, the e-mails that have been used for communication cannot be dismissed; E-mails have been upheld as signed instruments. The domain name of BUG has been appropriated by a company. This appears to be a case of cybersquatting. The registrars of .com domains follow the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy. Under this policy every dispute should be solved through arbitration, court action or mutual agreement. Once BUG establishes that it is trademark holder of BUG it will have no difficulty in getting the registrar to get the domain name BUG.com transferred to itself.
With all in mind BUG Inc., a company that holds itself as a manufacturer of which produces electronic devices to law enforcements throughout United States has been given the solution to its quadratic dilemma. Hopefully, with all this information provided to BUG Inc. that decisions may be made wisely in reference to the importance of the types of legal protections, civil liabilities, torts, and down to its privacy, security, infringement issues, and email contact validity. These are detriments for BUG Inc. to certainly be aware of to have a smooth process in expanding internationally.

Reference

Cornell University Law School. (n.d.). Retrieved May 5, 2013, from http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1961
GPO.Gov. (n.d.). Retrieved May 4, 2013, from http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-104publ294/html/PLAW-104publ294.htm…...

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