Paper | Legal and Ethical Issues in Management | American Public University


Course objectives:

  • CO1      Assess the legal environment of business. 
  • CO3 Compare      forms of alternative dispute resolution.
  • CO6      Distinguish the four forms of intellectual property.
  • CO7      Evaluate forms of business associations.



  • Gemma      and James have pooled their savings to create a start-up company to      develop and market an idea they conceived while students together at MIT.      They obtained permission to use a college lab during late night hours a      few nights a week during their last term before graduating to work on the      project. Then they were able to move to James’ parents’ garage, which they      keep locked.
  • Now      they need more sophisticated resources. They have created a prototype      robotic device, called “Phoebe,” that will aid first responders      in disaster relief by sensing and locating survivors remotely in areas      unsafe for humans and dogs to navigate. Phoebe’s sensors will locate      living beings, scan vitals and assess level of trauma.
  • Gemma      and James have mapped out private and public, civil, and military,      applications of their invention, plus continued R & D improvement into      next-phase capabilities.
  • They      have not shared their theory, the prototype, their documentation or any of      the associated hard and soft technologies with anyone but anticipate      needing to do so to obtain a funding source.
  • They      are concerned about others learning of their technology ahead of their      chance to obtain IP protection and customers, because they caught a nosy      ex-classmate of theirs, Clarence, hanging around their lab at MIT.


  1. The      type of business organization Gemma and James should use to organize their      business entity and why;
  2. The      four types of intellectual property (IP) and which of these have      application to Gemma and James’ invention, Phoebe.  Include case law      and examples that illustrate these;
  3. The      steps Gemma and James should take to protect their invention.
  4. What      recourse they might have against Clarence (or someone like him) if he has      indeed obtained knowledge of their invention, and how such a dispute might      be resolved using types of ADR.

Concepts that should be included in your essay:

  • Types      of business organizations; considerations for organizing and operating a      business;
  • Legal      environment of business; considerations for management and training to      meet business needs;
  • Types      of IP and their application to Phoebe (include case law);
  • IP      protection (part of case law requirement could be used here);
  • Relevant      methodologies and practices as illustrated by major contributors or      organizations (e.g. US PTO, WIPO);
  • IP      litigation claims and defenses and types of alternative dispute resolution      (ADR), including case law that illustrates types of ADR in practice      (especially IP);
  • Considerations      of business management for handling IP innovation, selection of IP      protections;
  • Business      compliance issues that Gemma and James should consider.

Word length: The Exemplary level of the Rubric is 1500-2100 words.  This requirement is exclusive of title page and the References list.  Also, you do not need to include an abstract. If you do, it is not part of your word count.

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