In regards of Schlossberger’s suggestion that the duty to respect trade secrets has limit and is overridden, it seem more emphasizing in whistle blowing aspect. So the question rises that under what conditions is whistle blowing moral justified? In my opinion, it does not matter what one’s obligations or confidentiality agreements, one is never exempt from the general obligations we have to our fellow human beings. One of the most fundamental of these obligations is not to cause harm to others. In particular, obligations of confidentiality and loyalty cannot take precedence over the fundamental duty to act in ways that prevent unnecessary harm to others. Agreements to keep ...view middle of the document...
Engineers only have the obligation to do their jobs as best they can. This includes reporting concerns about safety of products to management, but does not include the obligation to insist that their perception or standards should be accepted.
It is absolute unethical to violate a patent, however, by making a few minor modifications to the patented, an engineer often may legally duplicate a product or process. Hence is it unethical to make a minor change in a patented product or process to avoid copyright infringement? Creators and innovators should deserve to enjoy the fruits of their labors. The fairness argument says that it is unfair for someone to free ride on the work of another. If some company invests time and money in developing a product, then it should have a protected period of time in which it can try to recoup its investment and make a profit. For any other party to copy that product immediately upon its appearance and sell it more cheaply because it has no development costs to recoup is unfair. Moreover, to deprive benefic of their innovations would be unjust and socially harmful. With patents violating, the incentive to innovate would be lessen and resulting in fewer innovations. Creators or innovators would have to depend on secrecy hence undermining the knowledge sharing and cooperation necessary to achieve progress.
However, engineer profession in particular or society in general always has an interest in improvement of innovations in order to benefic technologies. The ethics of copyrights and patents tried to balance fairness to innovators and improving technology to advance human welfare.
According to Schlossberger’s article, the following factors engineers should consider. First, has the patent holder had a chance to benefit from it? Some patents yield immediate profits, while others may take a long time. It is less troubling to market a modified patented product if the patent holder has had a reasonable chance to profit already. Second, if the modification a real improvement or was it developed only to get around patent laws? If the modification makes the product safer, more precise, more useful, or less environmentally harmful, then the modification is generally justifiable. Third, how significant is the modification? Changing a few unimportant details is more trouble than making major alterations. Finally, is there any doubt about the legality of the modification? Engineers should never engage in illegal practices.
NONDISCLOSURE AGREEMENTS AS THE MEAN TO PROTECT TRADE SECRETS
Student: Emin Gurbanov
Professor: STEVEN VOGEL, JD, LLM
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. Importance of Trade Secrets it today's business world
2. Nondisclosure Agreement as effective tool to protect Trade Secrets
3. Elements and definition of Trade Secrets
4. Requirements for qualifications of secrets and Trade Secrets
5. Legislative definitions and protections of Trade Secrets
6. Limitations of...