I was invited by Principal David Maxwell and instructor David Gustaveson to speak to several business classes at Arkadelphia High School this morning on the subject of intellectual property.
I told the students a plastic Coke bottle represents 5 types of intellectual property and asked for their help in naming each one. We walked through (1) the design patent for the shape of the bottle, (2) the utility patent for the tamper-resistant top, (3) the trade secret on the Coke formula, (4) the trademark for Coca-Cola® and Coke®, and (5) the copyright for the label.
The discussion turned to the laws for intellectual property. We discussed the constitutional basis for each type of intellectual property and some basic tensions between protecting intellectual property rights and encouraging free sharing of ideas. iPhone vs. Android helped illustrate some of these principles, and the students were divided in their loyalties to their cell phones.
I appreciate the students being attentive and interactive. Thanks to Mr. G and Principal Maxwell for inviting me out! And, thanks to Paul Sivils for giving me a tour. AHS has changed quite a bit since I was a student!
UPDATE: We've added a page on the site that includes an explanation of how a Coke bottle represents five different types of intellectual property. Check it out here.