If you found a one-of-a-kind prototype of a revolutionary new mobile phone lying on a public bench, what would you do with it? 

  • If you found a one-of-a-kind prototype of a revolutionary new mobile phone lying on a public bench, what would you do with it?  What would be the consequences of your chosen action?
  • Does the value of a parcel of land come only from the profits it can generate? If not, what makes land valuable? Does it ever have any value that is not recognized by the law?
  • What is the role of governments in regulating the use of any form of property?  Why do laws work so well maintain standard uses, and what would be alternative ways to set boundaries on what businesses could do?

If you found a one-of-a-kind prototype of a revolutionary new mobile phone lying on a public bench, what would you do with it? 

To be absolutely honest, I would probably not even touch and leave the device where it was. But, I understand, not doing anything is not an option here. So, the next thing that I can do is find someone in “Lost and found office” or find an officer who is supposed to maintain the park, considering no one came back to look for the phone, I will hand over the device to them. In case you are wondering, why would I not keep it, then I think I should tell you, I am not a phone enthusiasts and not brave enough to keep an electronic device that is not mine, we have GPS in the device and there are CCTVs everywhere, I do not think it is hard to track someone down in Cities.

What would be the consequences of your chosen action?

      Considering the officer I found was honest, the phone should go to the “Lost and Found department”, but I think we need to explore other possibilities here. Since the phone is a prototype, that might have a never before used or newly invented technology, which is yet to be patented. As we know already in the USA the inventor gets a window of 12 months to file for Patent.

Meanwhile, someone who wants to make some quick money tries to contact the competitor company of the phone maker and tries to sell the prototype. And the competitor may actually buy the prototype and try to understand the new technology and incorporate it into their own devices. Now, hopefully, the original manufactures have already filed and gotten patent for the new technologies they have innovated and used, otherwise, this competitor that copies their tech and made their own product can file for the patent, as the US has changed it’s patent laws to first to file from first to innovate. Just to go one step forward, if something like this actually happens, and both these companies might sue each other to claim that they are the first to make it and based on who has the patent will win the right to use the new technology and most importantly hopefully I will stay out of the whole legal procedure.

Does the value of a parcel of land come only from the profits it can generate? If not, what makes land valuable? Does it ever have any value that is not recognized by the law?

            Value of a parcel of land mostly come from few facts such as its location, soil nutrition or if it has any trees or plants on it. So, mostly the value of the land will come from the profits it can generate. But the perceived value can be different based on an individual. The land can be expensive if the land has genetically modified crops on it those are patented based on U.S. Plant Patent Act of 1930, according to this law the new developer of the new variety of many asexually produced plants will have patent rights on the variety (Transgenic Crops, n.d.). The patent usually grant the patent holder 20 years to have exclusive rights to use the crop for commercial success (Zhou, 2015).

            The crops or trees growing some new type of fruit those are patented can make the land valuable.

            The first thing that came to mind is sentimental value, and that is restricted to a person or people. One might have memories on that land that he or she values greatly. That kind of value is not recognized by the law.

What is the role of governments in regulating the use of any form of property?  Why do laws work so well maintain standard uses, and what would be alternative ways to set boundaries on what businesses could do?

Any corporation can have both tangible and intangible assets. Tangible assets might include real estate, machinery, furniture, cars etc. A company usually owns some intangible assets too, such as patents, trademarks, brand equity etc. Now, if we see, mostly government grants patents and trademarks. Brand equity is something any company develops over time. Real estate and other tangible assets are also protected by laws. If the company gets into any type of dispute with another individual or another company, government and courts play the role of arbitrators. So, the government grants certain rights to own properties and arbitrates if there is any confusion on property ownership.

 Laws are regulations are essentially guidelines and rules recognized by a certain community or country, and this help maintains order, encourage safety and promote discipline (Daniel, 2011). Laws set certain boundaries, that businesses and individuals know not to cross, and these give certain rights too. For example, a real estate owner has rights to live in his or her house, but anybody else cannot come and stay with him without his consent. Same goes for businesses, they are allowed to use what they own and what is out there for the public to use, but the corporates need consent if they want to use any property be it tangible or intangible, to use in case they want to. Otherwise, the government can punish the violator as per laws.

Without laws, it will be difficult to set boundaries on what business do. Now certain businesses are so big that they control media so they can control public perceptions. But I think, with the use of social media something can be done. If any company is not ethical and bends the rules for profit, their acts should be made public on social media by an organization with some authority, and the information should show the facts and not opinions. End of the day we the people are customers, and I believe nobody wants to associate himself or herself with a corporation that does not play by the rules. Or is not doing any good, so as long as the management or the company’s misdeeds are made public, and if the public finds out about it, I think their brand equity will be diminished and eventually their profit and sales will tumble. Something similar happened in case of Chipotle, where E. Coli outbreak happened over 2 years age and As a result, Chipotle’s food safety reputation is still far worse than any other fast-food chain (Taylor,2018). 

References :

Zhou W(Aug,2015). The Patent Landscape of Genetically Modified Organisms. Retrieved from http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2015/the-patent-landscape-of-genetically-modified-organisms/

Retrieved on 7/21/2018. Retrieved from http://www.cls.casa.colostate.edu/TransgenicCrops/patent.html

Daniel H(April,2011). Benefits of Laws. Retrieved from http://benefitof.net/benefits-of-laws/

Taylor K(Mar,2018). People are still terrified to eat at Chipotle — and it’s the chain’s biggest problem. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/chipotle-hasnt-overcome-e-coli-fears-2018-3

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