To give you some context, this is the case study:
Case Study: Frederick is a student at Central Fictional State University (CFSU), and he has a great idea for a new business invention. Frederick’s invention and the business that he plans to found based on it will absolutely revolutionize the market and will make him very rich. He decides to share his idea with a few trusted professors, and he even uses the idea in a research project for one of his classes.
While Frederick is at home over summer break, he discovers, much to his dismay, that his professors have stolen his idea and have opened a business marketing his new invention. Frederick immediately seeks the advice of the local lawyer who has a reputation for being a “scorched-earth” litigator. He advises Frederick that he should sue those professors for everything they’ve got.” Frederick, however, is not sure if he should file an aggressive lawsuit, or if there is a better way to proceed.
Frederick knows that your business recently completed mediation to settle a lawsuit filed by one of your suppliers. He comes to you for advice on how to proceed. What is your answer to Frederick? In your response, consider whether the decision to file suit or to proceed through some form of alternative dispute resolution is affected by the previous relationship with the professors (can/should you sue a friend, how will the decision impact an ongoing relationship, etc.). Also, what role could Fredericks faith play in his decision?
This is the first discussion post:
I would inform Frederick to find and alternative dispute resolution, just as I did. Especially, knowing the magnitude of the lawsuit my business just previously went through and by the grace of God was able to get that case settled through mediation. Which to me, means my business was in the wrong and did not want to go through the whole litigation process. I would strongly suggest this option to my friend because he did not have a patent or copyrights and I am assuming there was not a non-disclosure agreement in place, so proving ownership for a lawsuit would be slim. Frederick luckily has documentation of this invention in writing as he made a presentation about it for another class so this would be most helpful in arbitration. As far as what impact this would have on his relationship with his Professors, should be his least concern. Professors are to be admired and respected so, the fact that they have put themselves and Frederick in this position should make him question their ethics and integrity. Not to mention if there was a friendship to begin with. His Professors should have been people in his life that he could trust and someone who will encourage and helped him in any way that they can. He can forgive them and himself and love them as God would have us to do. Frederick should always try to help the lost, but he must surround himself with good people and cast those away who has done him harm.
This is the second discussion post:
Stealing business ideas or inventions has been a trend for hundreds of years. It is difficult to prove or create a case if the idea, property, or business is not protected via trademark or copyright. Without a trademark or copyright documentation often, the person may not have a case. My answer to Frederick is to maintain and gather all documentation of this business idea, with date and time stamp. Also retrieve copies of documentation that was provided to the professors. My advice is with all the tangible evidence, initiate an Alternative Dispute Resolution. According to the textbook Legal Environment of Business, initiating an alternative dispute resolution is cost effective and does not go through the court system. I would recommend this alternative due to the fact that Fredrick lacks the copyright protection and much of the argument may come across as hearsay.
My advice would do not hesitate to initiate this resolution case as the professors crossed the line and went against the morale and right decision. The professors violated their trust and professionalism.
It is my belief that lawsuits should not be take lightly as it does create broken relationships and goes against loving and watching out for our neighbor. I also believe in doing what is right, and standing up for an unjust act is the right thing to do
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