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Behold, the power of adhesives!

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:34 am
by bolddeceiver
I just heard the scientist who made this discovery interviewed on NPR. It sounds so much like a joke, but it seems legit.

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:28 am
by tastycakes
Wow, that's pretty sweet. I'm glad that they included what this could possibly mean for science, otherwise I would have though this a useless party trick.

Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:39 pm
by adam
i emailed that link to my IP professor, as it's relevant to class discussion we've had of late about trade secret (and copyrights or patents) protection often coming at the expense of big potential public benefits.

i mean, imagine you're the inventor of scotch tape, and you've made a killing off it because no one knows the precise chemical compound you use in your adhesive. then UCLA contacts you and is like "yo, we can use your tape to cure cancer and provide the world with a limitless, clean renewable source of energy via nuclear fusion. just tell us what's in that freakin tape."
do you disclose your tradesecret, putting yourself and everything you've worked for out of business because of the flood of generic products that will now hit the market? that doesn't sound fun. but every time you see high gas prices, or pollution, and everytime someone dies of cancer, you think to yourself "my tape might coulda fixed that..."

Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:18 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
Um...

Doesn't the inventor jump for joy and say "Yippee!!" then make a killing licensing his product for use in curing cancer providing clean energy? Free Energy Inc. doesn't say "Pretty please tell us the formula." They say "We'll pay a royalty if you'll license your formula to us."

Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:19 pm
by adam
your protection only extends as far as the specific intended use you describe in your original patent application. Like, Oxyclean is club-soda, but club-soda didn't put "cleans carpets" in their application so oxyclean's free from license requirements.
trade secret law might be different, i dunno i'm only halfway through the class, but i'm pretty sure any disclosure of your secret, even for outsourced research purposes, puts that mess in the public domain.

Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:23 am
by cammoblammo
adam wrote:your protection only extends as far as the specific intended use you describe in your original patent application. Like, Oxyclean is club-soda, but club-soda didn't put "cleans carpets" in their application so oxyclean's free from license requirements.
trade secret law might be different, i dunno i'm only halfway through the class, but i'm pretty sure any disclosure of your secret, even for outsourced research purposes, puts that mess in the public domain.
Please enlighten me!

I always understood that trade secrets were just that---a secret. There's no restriction on others using the secret, but they have to learn it first. If you can stop others learning your secret, it will last longer than a patent or even copyright, and is useful where those things don't apply.

You're the house expert, though. Am I right, completely off track, or the victim of reading too much slashdot?

Posted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:00 pm
by adam
na you're spot on, if the secret is discovered legitimately- through independent discovery or reverse engineering etc. anyone can have at it. TS protection is for people who are trying to keep it under wraps but it gets out from something shady like industrial espionage or fraud or something. but you lose the right to protect against that stuff completely if you tell anyone- your grandma, some dude in a coma, or a few scientists who are just trying to cure cancer.

Posted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:58 pm
by tbaker2500
Trade secrets has no legal standing except for perchance to sue someone who leaks them.

Patents REQUIRE disclosure of exactly how to do it, and then provides legal protection. Then, in 20 years, the contents of that patent become public domain. Patents encourage the building of societal technology by sharing information, and in exchange for that you get exclusive use for 20 years.

The two don't overlap much.