Effective CISSP Questions

Your company decides to start the business of selling toys online and shipping globally. A newly recruited developer, Jack, is hired because of a critical algorithm published in his graduate thesis. He joined the in-house development team and developed a software component for shopping cart analysis from scratch that copied the idea from his previous company, which claims to have the patent of the algorithm. As a security professional, which of the following is the most concern?
A. Trademark
B. Trade secret
C. Patent
D. Copyright

Kindly be reminded that the suggested answer is for your reference only. It doesn’t matter whether you have the right or wrong answer. What really matters is your reasoning process and justifications.

My suggested answer is B. Trade secret.

I anchored this question with “newly recruited developer” and “algorithm.”

  • Trademark is out of scope, so we rule it out.
  • Copyright protects the expression of an idea (with the properties of originality and fixation), not the idea itself. Jack developed the software component from scratch, so it’s not a problem. Every software vendor can develop a spreadsheet like Excel or Lotus 1-2-3 by copying the idea of rows and columns from Microsoft or Lotus.,_Inc._v._Microsoft_Corp.
  • If you assume the “claims to have the patent of the algorithm” is true, then answer C can be justified. However, this question is designed to urge you to be aware of some key concepts:
    1. “According to U.S. law, a patent cannot be obtained if an invention was previously known or used by other people in the U.S., or was already patented or published anywhere in the world. Furthermore, publicly using or selling an invention more than 1 year prior to filing a patent application completely bars you from ever winning a patent on that invention.”
    2. “To avoid problems, you should file your patent application first and then publish a research paper on it in an academic journal. ”


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