Intellectual Property Infringement

Wagman and Scofield (1999) suggest that "It is difficult for intellectual property laws to keep pace with technology". The authors claim that in 1993, some US$23 billion was lost because of intellectual property infringement to US industries. They point that the theft of intellectual property is widespread in developing countries. According to the authors the effectiveness of IP protection strategies are different in different industries such as computing and software and entertainment. According to my conclusion search by Wagman and Scofield suggests that the current IP protection strategies are less effective in computing and software industries as compared to the other industries. According to my conclusion software and computing industry required some other means to protect IP infringements.

Devanbu and Stubblebine (2000) described in this research the value of the software and they point to the threats that are faced by the software systems from potential adversaries, Internet-aware client applications running on PCs, to complex telecommunications and power systems accessible over the Internet, to commodity software with copy protection mechanisms. According to this research before development of any software the software engineers must be aware of these threats and they should develop the systems with credible defenses, while still delivering value to customers.

Eric et al. (2002) described that the value of knowledge is increasingly being recognized in today's knowledge economy and society. They point out the specialized knowledge and its use as a crucial factor of success. They described the usage of patents and other forms of intellectual property mechanisms to protect inventions. They used the conceptual modeling to analyze the structure of knowledge. i* strategic actor relationships modelling framework is used to highlighting crucial entities and relationships. This strategic actor relationships modeling framework approach provides a way to link IP analysis to business strategy analysis and technology analysis. According to the framework actors have goals, and know-how and resources for achieving goals and it showed that how patents restrict the use of know-how. Different e-commerce examples are used to illustrate the strategic actor relationships modeling framework approach.

They tried to answer these questions:

  • What innovative technologies are needed to sustain products and services in business today and tomorrow?

  • Which technologies do I have exclusive rights on, and which ones are owned by other players?

  • How does the IP landscape constrain or enable my products and services strategies?

  • What options are available to make the best use of IP in a given context, e.g., licensing, alliances, acquisitions, in-house R&D?

Asiri (2003) described that the open source software is also facing the same ethical and infringement issues that are related with proprietary applications. Open source applications are facing the same security and privacy issues as well as it is not as open as it is considered. In addition to these issues, the cooperative development of open source also lends itself to exploitation by commercial enterprises. According to his research companies such as IBM and Apple are profiting by using the open source code. These companies are benefiting from free, albeit voluntary, labor without necessarily contributing back to the open source community. The author did not explore this issue in depth he described different political and ethical issues in this paper regarding open source code.

Nwauche (2003) emphasized the need for a debate to encourage the stakeholders to work out on the policies regarding their intellectual property rights. Intellectual property is a key to technological and economic development for both developed countries even find as well as for developing countries. Thus for any country either developed or developing, it can never be out of fashion to interrogate the relationship between its intellectual property policy and its development.

According to the author all countries should make sure that whether their intellectual property policy is directly linked and in aid of their development. More pointedly he defined these questions:

  • Has the IP policy reduced poverty and encouraged growth?

  • Has the IP policy led to the availability of educational resources itself a store of the information and knowledge needed for growth and development?

  • Has the IP policy strategic interface with other public policy issues such as competition, public health, such that it is ultimately of advantage?

He argued that a development oriented strong copyright protection is fundamental to the economic and technological advancement.

Meyer and Stewart (2004) described the difference of open source and proprietary software. They define the open source software as, software whose source code is freely available to all to use and modify. Because of free of cost access open source code approach is highly adopted by many companies. Authors described several advantages of open source code. These advantages are:

  • Lower software and hardware costs and more stability,

  • Flexibility

  • Security

They also revealed some risks related to open source code that was ignored previously. They revealed these open source risks by quoting the filing of a lawsuit by SCO Group against IBM in March 2003, asserting ownership of key parts of Linux, and SCO's increasing threats against corporate users of Linux. Finally they conclude that open source does come with some intellectual property infringement risks that must be understood by open source code users. Two However "unique risks" risks revealed by the authors are:

  • Risk of open source code infringement

  • License restriction risk of open source code.

Report (2004) CRS Report for Congress clearly mentioned that either proprietary or open source software developers rely upon the intellectual property laws to sustain their chosen development model. According to CRS report, the term "intellectual property laws" includes copyrights, patents and trade secrets that provide innovators peace of mind by protection their innovations. Further this report defines the copyright, patent and trade secret terms briefly and summarizes the basic workings of these Intellectual disciplines.

I read this CRS report for basic understating of intellectual property disciplines such as patents, trade secret and copy rights.

Cuéllar (2005) said that the technologies like open source has introduced a number of software applications that are providing ease of use, features, and speed at less cost. According to the writer open source applications are available "free-of-charge", but the potential for hidden costs has slowed down their acceptance in commercial settings. In his research he described that open source have licensing options and he explored the impact of open source software and the Open Source Initiative approved licenses on commercial applications. As well as the author describes the advantages and disadvantages of the open source software. According to this research we conclude that open source applications or code fragments are not completely open because open source have licensing options.

Anonymous (2006) describes the software development process as "A software development process is a structure imposed on the development of a software product". Synonyms include software life cycle and software process. There are several models for such processes, each describing approaches to a variety of tasks or activities that take place during the process.

Rejas et al. (2006) describes that all software, either simple or complex in nature, generates IP issues that needs to be managed. The potential cost of a poor management of such IP issues can cause the failure of the project or legal battling. According to the author currently IP infringement or other legal risks are frequently considered late in software life cycle or even during deployment. Even if software developers aim to incorporate IP management activities from the beginning of the software development life cycle, they face an exhaustive amount of ad hoc unstructured information without any practical guidance. According to this paper there is a great need of some structured methods and processes to handle the IP infringement or other legal aspects inherent to all software systems either developed using open source or third party code. The study attempted to present audit activities to be performed as part of most important software process improvement and assessment models that is capability maturity model integration (CMMI).

Fu et al. (2006) described method to avoid the software tempering. According to this paper code and ideas can be secured by increasing the difficulty of reverse engineering applications purposed. Authors apply the hashing function to transform some constants in the software and recover them during the execution with the correct input of the password. The security of such a method depends on the hardness of the invertibility of the hashing function.

Gurbani et al. (2006) the authors described the effectiveness of open source practices and tools that are used to overcome the problems of geographically distributed software development. According to the authors people know relatively little about the issues related to open source practices. Authors tried to find that:

  • Can open source development model be used effectively for software projects inside the corporate domain?

  • Compatibility of these tools and practices within a specific domain typical of a commercial software house.

To identify different issues they presented a case study of open source software development methodology adopted. They extracted a number of lessons learned from the experience, and identify open research questions.

Lau (2007) presented a more detailed investigation of the basic elements of software piracy. Rather than focusing on law enforcement alone, the study concentrated equally on the social and environmental influences of the software piracy problem. The study attempted to set up an integrated model of leniency towards software piracy, with a view to filling some gaps in the research concerning this topic.



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