Intellectual Rights and Contract Law

Intellectual Rights and Contract Law




Intellectual Rights and Contract Law

Question 1

Jimmy’s product, “Are You There” is an invention, which should be covered by intellectual property rights in order to prevent any legal problems in future. There are three intellectual property rights that apply to his product, which include patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. Patents are important because they will grant Jimmy the property rights on his inventions, which will allow him to prohibit other people from producing or using his invention. In his case, he will require to apply for two types of patent rights. The utility patent will cover the production process, the invention itself, and any improvements that will be done (Spinello & Kanellopoulou-Botē, 2009). His invention is useful therefore; it will qualify to receive the utility patent rights. The design patent will cover then new ornamental design of the innovation.

In addition to the patent rights, Jimmy’s invention should have a trademark. His trademark will be the name of his machine, “Are You There?” this name will distinguish his invention from other products in the market, which will make sure that no one else uses the phrase for their products. The final intellectual property he requires for his invention is the trade secrets. This is the secret formula or process used in the production of the invention, and will give Jimmy the advantage over other potential competitors.

Question 2

Jimmy decides to sue his rich Aunt Jane for failing to give him money as she promised on grounds that she breached their contract. However, Aunt Jane can use two defenses in court in order to exclude herself from the implications that come with breach of contract. The first defense she can use is to state that the contract was supposed to be in writing. There is no evidence of a written contract between Aunt Jane and Jimmy, meaning it was a verbal agreement, which does not bind any of the parties. The statute of frauds requires some types of contracts to be in writing (Klass, 2010). The fact that there is no written contract between Jane and Jimmy legally implies that their verbal agreement is invalid. Therefore, Aunt Jane is under no obligation to give Jimmy the money as promised, as she has not breached any contract.

The second defense Aunt Jane can use when sued would be to claim that there was misrepresentation by Jimmy. Misrepresentation is one of the concepts in contract law in which one of the parties makes a false statement regarding the particulars of the contract, which in turn may induce the other party to enter into the agreement (Barnett, 2010). Jimmy distorted the facts in this case. It is true that he needed money, but he did not disclose the true intention for the money. Therefore, this meant that Aunt Jimmy interpreted the contract wrongly and thus entered into the agreement with Jimmy. This defense holds ground in court because the distorted facts induced her to sign the contract. Jimmy is wrong to sue his aunt because he was not truthful when entering into an agreement with his aunt. Aunt Jane has a right to deny Jimmy the money because when she entered into the agreement, they had agreed that the money was for school fees, not for his company. The two defenses are sufficient for use in court by Aunt Jane, and she would win the case as it can be easily proved that she is indeed the aggrieved party, and not Jimmy.



Barnett, R. (2010). The Oxford introductions to U.S. law. New York: Oxford University Press.

Klass, G. (2010). Contract law in the USA. Austin [Tex.]: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.

Spinello, R., & Kanellopoulou-Botē, M. (2009). A defense of intellectual property rights. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

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