​Business Torts and Intellectual Property



Sam is an employee of ABC Paper Corp. He signed a non-disclosure agreement as

a condition of his employment with ABC. Sam is approached by XYZ Paper Co. with an

offer of employment, but only if he brings his client list with him. Sam was fully responsible

for creating his client list, so he agrees to provide it to XYZ. When Sam downloads his client

list onto an external flash drive, he is caught in the act by his boss Natalie. Sam grabs the

flash drive and runs out of his office, shoving Natalie aside when she attempts to stop him.

Natalie falls and hits her head against the doorknob, suffering a concussion.

Identify if there is an intellectual property at issue here. If so, what type?

There is an intellectual property at issue here. The type is considered as trade secrets. The defense of independent development may be raised when the defendant arrives at a technique similar to the trade secret without any influence from the trade secret that the defendant is alleged to have misappropriated

(Philips, 2015)
. As informed above, Sam downloaded the list of customers that he was in charge of. The list of customers is considered as a knowledge-based resources, which is included in intellectual property. This is an infringement of Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). When Sam tried to provide his customer list to XYZ Paper Co., he breached the NDA contract. FindLaw, a website that discusses general legal matters describes NDAs as “a legal contract in which a party (normally an employee) promises to protect the confidentiality of a secret hat is disclosed to him or her during the course of their employment.” (A Nondisclosure Agreement, 2017).

Discuss if Sam’s actions are ethical. Why or why not?

By placing the individual at the center of ethics we ensure that the individual is entirely though not necessarily singularly responsible. The person must accept that even if acting on behalf of others in an organization, it is his or her own ability to respond based on his or her own ethical position that is now his or her own embodiment

(Vivian-Byrne & Hunt, 2014)
. Were Sam’s actions ethical? No, his actions were not ethical. When Sam made the unethical decision to give the list to the XYZ Paper Company, he broke is moral compass. He created his client list in order to become successful at ABC Paper Corporation. The client list was only created because he worked for ABC Paper Corporation. The clients may not have conducted business with him had he not been employed for ABC.

Discuss the types of tort, if any, Sam committed. Did any of the other parties in this scenario commit a tort?

A tort is a wrongful act, not including a breach of contract or trust, that results in injury to another’s person, property, reputation, or the like, and for which the injured party is entitled to compensation

(Dictionary.com, 2017)
. Torts is about which duties of noninjury owed to others are counted as legal duties and what sorts of remedial obligations one will incur for failing to conduct oneself in accordance with those duties . Intentional torts are acts done with intent. There are several types of intentional torts. Some are assault and battery, intentional infliction of mental distress, invasion of privacy, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution, trespass, conversion, defamation, fraud, interference with business relations. Out of these torts, Sam is guilty of several. They are assault and battery, intentional infliction of mental distress, interference with business relations, and conversion making him a tortfeasor.

Discuss if any of Sam’s actions subject him to criminal liability.

When Sam assaulted his boss Natalie by shoving her aside when she attempted to stop him, he intentionally created a feeling of apprehension or fear by charging at Natalie and shoving her. Once Sam placed his hands on Natalie is a hostile way without her consent he also committed battery. Battery is defined “an illegal touching of another”.

Intentional infliction of mental distress is the second tort Sam is guilty of. When Sam shoved Natalie aside and she fell and hit her head she suffered a concussion. According to Mayo Clinic concussions can cause physical pain such as headaches, dizziness, ringing in the ears, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and many others. Due to Sam’s outrageous behavior that caused Natalie to fall and hit her head causing a concussion, proves mental distress and also physical symptoms.

The third tort Sam is guilty of is conversion. Conversion is a civil wrong (tort) in which one converts another’s property to his/her own use, which is a fancy way of saying “steals.” Conversion includes treating another’s goods as one’s own, holding onto such property which accidentally comes into the convertor’s (taker’s) hands, or purposely giving the impression the assets belong to him/her

(Hill, n.d.)
. When Sam downloaded his client list from ABC Paper Corp he asserted dominion and control over the personal resource belonging to his current company. He also had the intent of delivering this material to the XYZ Company, which is the wrong party. While Sam may have been fully responsible for creating his client list, he did so while he was employed by ABC Paper Corporation. This is was created because he worked at ABC Paper Corporation and these clients had the understanding of conducting business with ABC Paper Corporation.

The fourth tort Sam is guilty of is interference with business relations. By Sam downloading the client list he was interfering with potential business relations with the clients on his list. He also created interference with existing business relations with the clients on his list.

Sam’s actions are considered criminal actions and he should be held liable. Sam intended to commit these actions. Crimes generally require an intent or willfulness in the act. Sam intended to cross the proper boundaries of the law when he shoved Natalie aside committing assault and battery. He also intended to cross the boundary when he copied the client list committing conversion. These were an intentional act to cause harm to Natalie and the ABC Paper Corporation. I feel that Sam is guilty of four types of criminal actions. They are assault, negligence, strict liability, and intentional tort.


Sam’s unethical conduct started with talking to the XYZ Paper. That bad decision led to the criminal assault of his boss as-well-as the illegal downloading of his clients list. He I looking at some serious legal matters due to what I amount greed.


A Nondisclosure Agreement . (2017). Retrieved August 22, 2017, from http://smallbusiness.findlaw.com/intellectual-property/a-nondisclosure-agreement.html

Dictionary.com. (2017). Retrieved August 23, 2017, from http://www.dictionary.com/browse/tort?s=ts

Goldberg, J. C., & Zipursky, B. C. (2010). Torts as Wrongs. Texas Law Review, 88(5), 917-986. Retrieved August 24, 2017, from https://search-proquest- com.contentproxy.phoenix.edu/docview/203719457/fulltextPDF/154725F6F33A49B6PQ /1?accountid=35812.

Hill, G., & Hill, K. (n.d.). Law.com. Retrieved from http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=346

Vivian-Byrne, K., & Hunt, J. (2014). Ethical Decision Making: Social Metaphors Towards Ethical Action. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 33(1), 1-15. Retrieved August 24, 2017, from https://search-proquest-com.contentproxy.phoenix.edu/docview/1503765115?accountid=458.

< a href ="/order">