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Bug Usa, Inc. – Case Scenario Business Law 1

2235 words - 9 pages

BugUSA, Inc. - Case ScenarioThis scenario presents the case of BugUSA, Inc.; as a team, we endeavor to address the legal ramifications of each company's activities. BugUSA, Inc. has legal rights to intellectual property protection, and this paper explores the options available within that realm. WIRETAP, Inc. will face civil liability claims if caught in its underhanded measures, and possibly a civil RICO suit; BugUSA's security guard Walter, however, has also created a case against its own interests. When another company owns the rights to a web domain that suits BugUSA's needs, it faces the challenge of how to acquire the domain with as little hassle and as much protection as possible. A ...view middle of the document...

to get a job. BugUSA, Inc., not realizing Steve was an employee of WIRETIME, hired him to work in its research and development department located in Any State, U.S.A. While working at BugUSA Inc., Steve forwarded any BugUSA, Inc. e-mail he received to WIRETIME Inc. This included e-mail between BugUSA, Inc. officers (both domestic and abroad) that Steve intercepted using his hacking ability. At the end of each week, Steve met with his boss at WIRETIME, Inc. and gave him all the information he obtained about the BugUSA, Inc. product lines. Discuss in detail what type(s), if any, of civil liability Steve and/or WIRETIME Inc. face if caught.Steve and WIRETIME may face several types of civil liability to include patent infringement, misappropriation of a trade secret, and interference with prospective advantage. WIRETIME would be liable for patent infringement if they used any information or sold any product that contained elements of a patented invention, which they might have received information on from Steve. They would also be liable if a recently designed or changed product had similar elements to any product that BugUSA, Inc. had patented, even if the product was different in design. Since Steve assisted WIRETIME in obtaining information, he could also be liable for contributory infringement, if the information he obtained was used to infringe on the patentee's rights.Depending on the information received and used by WIRETIME, they might or might not be liable for patent infringement. Though they might not be held liable for patent infringement, they have are at risk of being liable for misappropriation of a trade secret. A trade secret is defined as, "any secret formula, pattern, process, program, device, method, technique, or compilation of information used in the owner's business, if it gives its owner an advantage over competitors who do not know it or use it (Mallon et al., 2004)." If the information that WIRETIME received was considered a secret and of potential value, WIRETIME will most likely be held responsible for misappropriation liability. A misappropriation liability occurs when a secret is acquired by improper means or an individual breached a duty of confidentiality regarding the secret. In Steve's case, both were committed. First, WIRETIME committed fraud by sending one of their employees to be hired by BugUSA, Inc. in order to gain inside access to the company. Secondly, Steve intercepted certain emails by using his hacking ability and broke his confidentiality agreement by giving WIRETIME information that was probably confidential.The last civil liability WIRETIME might face is interference with prospective advantage. Since WIRETIME intentionally interfered by stealing certain information, BugUSA, Inc. could argue that they lost an advantage in their industry because of information that was placed into the wrong hands. In order for WIRETIME to be liable, BugUSA, Inc. would have to prove that they had an advantage and that the...

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