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Ethical Decision Making
In the current competitive global economy, some companies no longer respect patents, copyrights, and intellectual property laws. These businesses ostentatiously display their copied products without concern for these regulations. The violation of patency laws has increased counterfeit products, which have tarnished the credibility of genuine items. Furthermore, they have also led to a reduction in the reward earned by innovators when they develop a new product (Parthasarathy, 2017). Accordingly, a violation of patents, copyrights, and intellectual property laws leads to a decrease in a country’s economic growth and a reduction in research and innovation.
Patents, copyrights, and intellectual property laws are important in enabling innovators to enjoy exclusive rights in their use. Although these rules promote research, which leads to new inventions, they limit competition and encourage the formation of monopolies. According to Libertarians, individuals have the right to have basic needs; therefore, these laws are inappropriate since they prevent manufacturers from copying technology used in making essential commodities such as medicine (Parthasarathy, 2017). With relation to virtue ethics, patency, copyrights, and intellectual property laws are inappropriate because they aim at enriching innovators and not enabling the entire world to benefit from the discoveries.
All governments must ensure that patency, copyrights, and intellectual property laws are ethical so that they are beneficial to all individuals. In particular, they should prohibit individuals from copying new inventions without the consent of the innovators. On the other hand, they must also establish that these laws are not too prohibitive to the extent that they only serve the selfish need of only enriching innovators. Rather, they should allow people to improve on the inventions and increase their access to those who need them.
Parthasarathy, S. (2017). Patent politics: Life forms, markets, and the public interest in the United States and Europe. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.