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prajeshpatel
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legal and ethical - January 30th, 2009

LEGAL AND ETHICAL ENV OF BUSINESS
CASE 2

John Knosit was head of a research team of CDE electric. His team was working on developing a cheaper & more effective filament for light bulbs. Six months ago, rumor circulated in the industry that the team had made a break through, and all that was required was final testing. This would put CDE electric for ahead of it and competitors. Five months ago, X electric hired John away from CDE, offering him $25000 a year more than he had been getting. No mention was made of his work on the new filament. After he had been in his new position for three months, his superior approached him and said that X electric had hired him because of his work on the filament and that he would have to develop the filament quickly for X electric or be fired. John knows how to develop the filament, is his morally justified in developing it for X electric? Please as part of your answer comment on intellectual property, who it belongs and why?
John Knosit was the head of a research team. He was appointed to that position, presumably because of his leadership ability and because of his knowledge and skill. These belong to him. He takes with him his own knowledge, skill, experience, and personal qualities wherever he goes. CED electric pays salary to john for all of this knowledge. X electric offered john To pays $25000 more than CDE electric. Most people would readily admit that to do so would be immoral. The reason it is immoral is that the process belongs to CDE electric. Even though John knows the process, it does not belong to him. He is morally restricted in what he can do with that information and giving it or selling it to others is not morally allowable. His being hired by X electric does not change the status of his knowledge of the filament. That still belongs to CDE electric. Hence, he cannot, morally, develop the filament for X electric, as he is commended to do. John’s superior at X electric acts immorally in commending it, and if John does as he commands, john also acts immorally.
If we consider the consequences for all those involved. John benefit because he gets to keep his job and his handsome increase in salary. X electric benefits because they get the filament quickly and cheaply. They will therefore be able to compete easily with CDE electric. In order to get around patent laws, they may have to make minor modifications so that the filament is not identical. But the cost of doing that will not be anything like the cost of developing the original filament. Because they do not have to recoup research and development costs, they will even be able to market the new bulbs more cheaply than CDE electric. CDE electric is the loser. It still has the filament, but it has lost its competitive edge; it will make less profit.
All harms that CDE suffers, is offset by the benefit that X electric reaps. If we then add in the benefit John receives , John’s action seems morally justifiable. Any firm that spent money-perhaps millions of dollars-to develop a new product or idea would expect to lose that investment to a competitor, who would obtain the information by hiring away its developer. If this is the condition then no company will research on new product or find new product because if they do research and other companies are benefited by this, then they will also just coy products of some other company, because research costs more money than hiring an experienced person from some other company. If the analysis is correct, we can legitimately claim that a company is allowed to protect the products and ideas it develops in its research and development programs, for at least a certain amount of time.
There will be many people to argue that John Knosit is the real investor of the product because it is result of his genius or ingenuity, and it rightfully belongs to him. He developed it while working with for the company, so the company has the “shop right” to it-that is, the company has the right to use the invention for its own ends. But the company has no right to stop John for taking that knowledge with him and using it for the benefit of his new employer, if he chooses. Patent laws are one obvious device that help companies achieve some protection in the use of products developed by those in their employ. However the delay that such copying requires after the original items appears is sufficient for the originator to recoup his or her research expenses. The formula of Coco-cola is one of the best-kept trade secrets in history. From a moral point of view, there is no objection to that secrets remaining a secret of the company indefinitely; no demonstrable harm would befall society even of the secret eventually died with its keepers.
Comment:
John Knosit was the inventor of this cheaper and more effective filament for light bulbs. Morally John should stay with CDE electric. But if the X electric pays him more salary, it is up to him to stay with CDE electric or not. CDE electric has right to get benefit from this technology because all expenses on this research and development was paid by them. X electric can offer more salary because they don’t have to spend money on research program. X electric is found immoral at this point, they just pay salary, this salary can be consider as bribe to John to get new technology at cheaper rate. If superior of X electric comes to John and says he to finish the work fast or he would be fired. John’s superior is correct at this point, because X electric pays more salary to John for this particular work. If John fails to finish this work then X electric has right to fire him. John cannot oppose this decision of X electric, because he fails to finish work assigned to him. This decision of X electric would be considered as moral.
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Re: legal and ethical
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prajeshpatel
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Re: legal and ethical - January 30th, 2009

thanks

VISHALKUMAR N PATEL
LEGAL AND ETHICAL ENV OF BUSINESS
CASE 2

John Knosit was head of a research team of CDE electric. His team was working on developing a cheaper & more effective filament for light bulbs. Six months ago, rumor circulated in the industry that the team had made a break through, and all that was required was final testing. This would put CDE electric for ahead of it and competitors. Five months ago, X electric hired John away from CDE, offering him $25000 a year more than he had been getting. No mention was made of his work on the new filament. After he had been in his new position for three months, his superior approached him and said that X electric had hired him because of his work on the filament and that he would have to develop the filament quickly for X electric or be fired. John knows how to develop the filament, is his morally justified in developing it for X electric? Please as part of your answer comment on intellectual property, who it belongs and why?
John Knosit was the head of a research team. He was appointed to that position, presumably because of his leadership ability and because of his knowledge and skill. These belong to him. He takes with him his own knowledge, skill, experience, and personal qualities wherever he goes. CED electric pays salary to john for all of this knowledge. X electric offered john To pays $25000 more than CDE electric. Most people would readily admit that to do so would be immoral. The reason it is immoral is that the process belongs to CDE electric. Even though John knows the process, it does not belong to him. He is morally restricted in what he can do with that information and giving it or selling it to others is not morally allowable. His being hired by X electric does not change the status of his knowledge of the filament. That still belongs to CDE electric. Hence, he cannot, morally, develop the filament for X electric, as he is commended to do. John’s superior at X electric acts immorally in commending it, and if John does as he commands, john also acts immorally.
If we consider the consequences for all those involved. John benefit because he gets to keep his job and his handsome increase in salary. X electric benefits because they get the filament quickly and cheaply. They will therefore be able to compete easily with CDE electric. In order to get around patent laws, they may have to make minor modifications so that the filament is not identical. But the cost of doing that will not be anything like the cost of developing the original filament. Because they do not have to recoup research and development costs, they will even be able to market the new bulbs more cheaply than CDE electric. CDE electric is the loser. It still has the filament, but it has lost its competitive edge; it will make less profit.
All harms that CDE suffers, is offset by the benefit that X electric reaps. If we then add in the benefit John receives , John’s action seems morally justifiable. Any firm that spent money-perhaps millions of dollars-to develop a new product or idea would expect to lose that investment to a competitor, who would obtain the information by hiring away its developer. If this is the condition then no company will research on new product or find new product because if they do research and other companies are benefited by this, then they will also just coy products of some other company, because research costs more money than hiring an experienced person from some other company. If the analysis is correct, we can legitimately claim that a company is allowed to protect the products and ideas it develops in its research and development programs, for at least a certain amount of time.
There will be many people to argue that John Knosit is the real investor of the product because it is result of his genius or ingenuity, and it rightfully belongs to him. He developed it while working with for the company, so the company has the “shop right” to it-that is, the company has the right to use the invention for its own ends. But the company has no right to stop John for taking that knowledge with him and using it for the benefit of his new employer, if he chooses. Patent laws are one obvious device that help companies achieve some protection in the use of products developed by those in their employ. However the delay that such copying requires after the original items appears is sufficient for the originator to recoup his or her research expenses. The formula of Coco-cola is one of the best-kept trade secrets in history. From a moral point of view, there is no objection to that secrets remaining a secret of the company indefinitely; no demonstrable harm would befall society even of the secret eventually died with its keepers.
Comment:
John Knosit was the inventor of this cheaper and more effective filament for light bulbs. Morally John should stay with CDE electric. But if the X electric pays him more salary, it is up to him to stay with CDE electric or not. CDE electric has right to get benefit from this technology because all expenses on this research and development was paid by them. X electric can offer more salary because they don’t have to spend money on research program. X electric is found immoral at this point, they just pay salary, this salary can be consider as bribe to John to get new technology at cheaper rate. If superior of X electric comes to John and says he to finish the work fast or he would be fired. John’s superior is correct at this point, because X electric pays more salary to John for this particular work. If John fails to finish this work then X electric has right to fire him. John cannot oppose this decision of X electric, because he fails to finish work assigned to him. This decision of X electric would be considered as moral.
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