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Current Issues In Manufacturing Management: Intellectual Property Issues In A Global Environment

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.131.1 - 1.131.5



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Paper Authors

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Ph.D., Paul E. Givens

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H.A. Montefusco

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Anita L. Callahan

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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..... Session 2642

Current Issues in Manufacturing Management: Intellectual Property Issues in a Global Environment

Anita L. Callahan, Ph.D., P.E. , Paul E. Givens, Ph.D., H.A. Montefusco University of South Florida


In this era of the shrinking global marketplace, engineers in the United States can no longer rely on traditional means to protect their intellectual property. While patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets have provided engineers with incentives to develop and pursue creative ideas, these legal entities do not guarantee protection outside the United States. For example, the United States, along with only two other countries (The Philippines and Jordan), subscribe to a first to invent policy for patent protection while the rest of the world follows a first to file policy. In other words, an engineer in the United States who develops a new process and patents it in the United States may find that someone else who did not invent the process but was aware of it filed for protection out side the United States and is now reaping the benefits of the original engineer’s efforts. This may change but the engineer must be aware of the rules in effect at the time of filing. Another example that will aRect many engineers is the issue of copyrights. Until recently, the United States required authors of intellectual property, including software developers, to register their works in order to obtain legal protection. Just recently the law changed with the United States agreeing to the Beme convention which states that any copyrightable material is protected from the time it is created whether or not it has been registered. Registration is still important, however, in order to obtain legal costs from the infringer.

Engineers play an important role in developing the intellectual property of the world. However, many are not aware of how their uninformed actions can affect the rewards they obtain from their endeavors. This paper provides an overview of the legal mazes encountered by engineers when attempting to protect their intellectual property in the global environment. While not a legal document, it also provides the engineer guidance with respect to what is the appropriate type of protection, when to obtain such protection, and where it is appropriate to file given the type and life of the intellectual property in question.


The goal of many engineering students is to design a new product or develop a new process. While many engineering curriculums provide the foundations for such endeavors, one area of instruction that is lacking is in the arena of protection of ideas. In today’s global environment, students can not rely on others to recognize and reward their efforts. -- -. - . . - fiiii’ } 1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings ‘..,,yyMlc.:

Givens, P. P. E., & Montefusco, H., & Callahan, A. L. (1996, June), Current Issues In Manufacturing Management: Intellectual Property Issues In A Global Environment Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--5953

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