01/08/2018

Ethical Considerations in Intellectual Property Law


Ethical Considerations in Intellectual Property Law

Leonard Raykinsteen

The U.S. legal system affords certain rights and provides protections for owners of property that result from “the fruits of mental labor,” or so-called “creations of the mind.”1 This kind of property is called intellectual property (IP). IP law, in turn, deals with the rights and protections for owners of IP. These rights and protections are based on federal patent, trademark and copyright laws and state trade secret laws. In general, patents protect inventions of tangible things; copyrights protect various forms of written and artistic expression; and trademarks protect a name or symbol that identifies the source of goods or services.

Professional responsibility is a body of law, the violation of which may expose a lawyer to substantial sanctions and may threaten his or her reputation, license and livelihood.

This paper will discuss a variety of ethical/professional responsibility issues that can emerge throughout the representation of a client in matters related to IP law. These are complicated issues, made even more so by the changing nature of the practice of law, by the complex and ever-evolving technology, and by the fluid nature of the national and global economy.

99 J. Pat. & Trademark Off. Soc’y 47(2017)

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