Information Technology and Ethics/Intellectual Property
Intellectual property are works of the mind, such as art, books, films, formulas, inventions, music and process that are distinct and owned or created by a single person or group. Intellectual property is protected by either copyrights, patents or trade secrets laws.
Copyrights and Patents 
Article I section 8 clause 8 of the United States Constitution states;
|“||To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.||”|
Copyrights are the exclusive right to distribute, display, perform, or reproduce an original work in copies or to prepare derivative works based on the work. If you violate the rights secured by the owner of a copyright when you copy substantial and material part of their work its called copyright infringement. Copyright terms last for different periods of time depending on the circumstances.
Patents are protection for any invention whether it be a product or process in a fields of technology.Patents not only prevent independent creation but also copying. If two people invent the same item,the first person to file the patent has exclusive rights to the product.While the other inventor must as the first person for permission to use the original patent. Patent infringement is the violation of the rights secured by the owner of a patent, when someone makes an unauthorized use of anthers patent.
Trade Secrets 
Trade secrets and any other information with commercial value must be protected against breach of confidence and other dishonest acts.Although they are protected companies must take reasonable steps to protect this information. In order to properly protect trade secrets companies must have a comprehensive strategy for keeping the information secure. Employees may disclose trade secrets or steal them for financial gain. Organizations must educate employees the importance of secrecy.