The definitive guide to intellectual property for business managers
How can a product of the mind—an innovation, a song, a logo, a business secret—become the subject of precise property rights? No idea is entirely original; every innovative business borrows, sometimes extensively, from its competitors and others. So how do we draw the line between fair and unfair use?
Billions of dollars ride on that question, as do the fates of publishers, software producers, drug companies, advertising firms, and many others. It’s also a key question for individuals—for instance, if you quit your job after mastering the company’s secrets, what can you do with that information?
With the growth of the internet and global markets, having a smart IP strategy is more essential than ever. Intellectual Property is the ideal book for non-lawyers who deal with patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights—all essential business issues that have changed rapidly in the last few years.
Goldstein draws on dozens of fascinating case studies, from the Polaroid vs. Kodak battle to Kellogg’s surprising trademark suit against Exxon to whether a generic perfume is allowed to smell exactly like Chanel No. 5.
Every business decision that involves IP is also a legal decision, and every legal decision is also a business decision. Lawyers and managers need to work together to navigate these murky waters, and this book shows how.
Goldstein has his hands full trying to impart useful guidelines for business owners and corporate executives with intellectual properties to manage. The problem? Numerous legal nuances and inconsistent treatment of intellectual property within the U.S. and international legal codes. Goldstein, who teaches law at Stanford, explains the Byzantine legal codes that apply to patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets. He also includes a look at how the Internet muddies the waters when it comes to intellectual property. However, Goldstein's colorless style and use of legal jargon, even when telling near-sordid tales of individuals who have played the patent system purely for profit, will be tiresome to the casual reader. But for those familiar with the issues, he offers insight into the current situation and how to compete while minimizing the risk of running afoul of the law. Goldstein also offers his predictions for the future, given protectionism's cyclical nature. Though he holds out hope of a slackening in the presently stringent environment, there's little hope for greater clarity, Goldstein contends.