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Legal Environment of Business Final Exam

Public Use Doctrine
A patent can not be obtained if the public has used the idea or invention for 1 year or more prior to application
Fair Use Doctrine
Permits the limited use of the work without the creator’s permission
Trade Secrets
Protects things that are not able to be nor watned to be patented or copywrited
Non-Disclosure Agreements
Contracts signed by employees, vendors, franchises that prohibits them from using/selling/taking trade secrets
1996-Federal Economic Espionage Act
This made the theft of a trade secret a federal crime (there are several penalties that go with this)
1997-No Electronic Theft (net) Act
Provides criminal pentalites for the unauthorized use of copywrited material even if it is not for financial gain and/or only for “personal use”.
Privity Of Contract
No longer required to recover for injuries/harm. Today: Liability extends to “All Foreseeable Users”.
Strict Liability For Defective Products
Manufacturers can be held liable for defective products regardless of any breach of duty or unreasonable act by the Defendant
Elements For Strict Liability
– The defendant is engaged regularly in selling that type of product – The product is unreasonably dangerous to a user due to the defect
Market Share Liability
If several defendants manufactured and/or distributed a product and the plaintiff is unable to determine which defendant actually manufactured the product that caused the injury, the plaintiff will sue all the defendant manufactures who made the product and the courts will charge each manufacturer/distributor with liability equal to their market share.
Can be liable for defective products under negligence theory (not strict liability)
Bilateral Contract
An exchange of promises between parties
Unilateral Contract
The exchange of a promise for an act.
Executory Contract
The contract has not yet been fully performed (still something else to do on the contract)
A contract’s goal or purpose can not be illegal or against public policy
Types of unclear terms in a contract:
– Hand written or typed terms prevail over pre-printed terms – When the language has more than one meaning the words are interpreted against the party who drew up the contract (must be precise when writing a contract).
Mailbox Rule
in contract law, making a written offer or acceptance of offer valid if sent in the mail, with postage, within the time in which the offer must be accepted, unless the offer requires acceptance by personal delivery on or before the specified date.
A required element for a valid contract; something of value given in return for a promise.
Unconscionable Contracts
When terms of a contract are extremely one sided, courts will not enforce it.
Nominal Consideration
a valued commodity exchanged between two parties in a legal agreement with one another
Accord and Satisfaction
an agreement to discharge a claim whereby the parties agree to give and accept something, usually less than what the contract is owed.
Promissory Estoppel
if a party changes his or her position substantially either by acting or forbearing from acting in reliance upon a gratuitous promise, then that party can enforce the promise although the essential elements of a contract are not present.
Genuineness of Assent
A defense to the enforcement of a contract
Statute of Frauds
Where certain types of contracts must be in writing or they will not be enforced by the courts
Parol Evidence Rule
This prevents a party from avoiding liability on a written contract by presenting evidence that the writing does not mean what it says. The reason for the rule is to give stability to written contracts and to prevent someone claiming that there were oral terms that never found their way into the written agreement.
Integration Clause
a clause in the contract that declares that the contract is a complete and final agreement between the parties.
Time For Performance
In a contract must state “time is of the essence” for the individual to be on time; if performance not done by that time = breach of contract
Specific Performance
When courts can ask certain people to abide by the contract but (can’t force on personal service)
Liquidated Damages
In a contract if you break it, that is how much you owe
Implied-In-Fact Contract
The terms of the contract are implied from the past conduct of the parties or the industry
Executed Contract
The contract has been fully performed by both sides (everything is done)
Valid Contract
The contract has all of th elements necessary for a legally enforceable contract
Void Contract
The contract has no legal force or binding effect from its creation
Voidable Contract
A valid contract that can later be avoided by or both parties
Unenforceable Contract
A contract that can not be enforced due to certain legal defenses
Requirement Contract
A promise to buy or supply all the goods/services/materials the other party may require (When McDonalds goes around and buys potatoes and beef from farmers)
Aleatory Contract
A contract where performance is triggered by the occurrence of some uncertain event in the future

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