Intellectual Property Policy
Introduction: The Medical Affairs Professional Society (MAPS) is committed to a high level of legal and ethical standards in the conduct of our business. It is the policy of MAPS to compete fairly in the marketplace. This commitment to fairness includes respecting the intellectual property rights of our suppliers, customers, business partners, competitors, and others, including original equipment manufacturers and other independent service organizations. No MAPS employee, independent contractor, or agent should steal or misuse the intellectual property rights owned or maintained by another.
Purpose: The purpose of this Policy is to help maintain MAPS’ reputation as a fair competitor, ensure the integrity of the competitive marketplace in intellectual property, and comply with the laws regulating intellectual property and industrial espionage.
MAPS’s Intellectual Property
MAPS is committed to protecting its own intellectual property, such as information, processes, and technology, from infringement by others. MAPS’s informational tools are available at our disposal because of significant investments of time and funds. If our intellectual property is not properly protected, it becomes available to others who have not made similar investments. This would cause us to lose our competitive advantage and compromise our ability to provide unique services to our customers.
MAPS’s intellectual property includes, but is not limited to, confidential MAPS business information, trade secret technology (such as computer software and systems and knowhow related to them), patented inventions and processes, trademarks and service marks, trade dress, content developed and copyrighted works. It is the responsibility of every MAPS employee and volunteer to help protect MAPS intellectual property. It is the responsibility of MAPS volunteers and CEO to foster and maintain awareness of the importance of protecting MAPS’s intellectual property.
Intellectual Property of Others
MAPS is committed to respecting the intellectual property of others. The rules with respect to intellectual property, including misappropriation of business information and trade secrets (e.g., computer systems, software, and related knowhow) and infringement of patents, trademarks and service marks, trade dress, and copyrights, are complex. As a result, any question should be brought to the attention of a MAPS team member who may seek expert advice from MAPS’s attorneys to address specific issues that arise with respect to our business. In many instances MAPS’s attorneys can perform searches for pre-existing patents, trademarks or service marks, or copyrights and help you avoid infringing conduct. MAPS attorneys can evaluate business information to help you avoid infringing conduct.
While collecting data on MAPS’s competitors, legal and ethical resources should be used to prevent the tainting of MAPS operations with the improper introduction of the proprietary information of third parties. Violations of this could result in substantial civil and criminal penalties against the individual and MAPS for misappropriation of trade secrets. This could be avoidable through compliance with MAPS’s policies and consultation with MAPS’s attorneys.
It is not improper to accumulate information concerning competitors, and it is generally not unethical or illegal to make use of the information as part of our business. However, care must be taken by all MAPS volunteers, continuing education content developers, employees, independent contractors, and agents to utilize only legitimate resources to collect information concerning competitors and to avoid those actions which are illegal, unethical, or which could cause embarrassment to MAPS. When a situation is unclear, the individual should consult with MAPS management. MAPS management may in its discretion wish to further consult with its attorneys.
An individual may be bound by a nondisclosure obligation to the former employer. MAPS expects individuals to fulfill this obligation; individuals should refrain using in MAPS’s business any confidential information belonging to any former employers. MAPS does expect the use of information which is generally known and used in the industry.
Following are examples of the types of activities that might constitute a violation of the laws protecting intellectual property or MAPS’s policies. If you encounter a similar situation, you must contact MAPS management who will immediately review the issue and determine if a violation may/has occurred, and will act accordingly to ensure that all participating individual/s are in compliance with this policy.
- Installing computer software on more than one computer system without a proper license.
- Making or maintaining additional copies of computer software, including providing such copies to customers, without a proper license.
- Copying a third-party’s documentation, technical manuals, or user manuals without permission.
- Downloading information from a subscription database without permission.
Trademark, Patent, or Trade Dress Infringement
- Adopting or using a slogan, name, or symbol for goods or services that is confusinglysimilar toa slogan, name, or symbol used by another.
- Making or using a process, product, or device that incorporates patented ideas or features belonging to another.
- Failing to act upon notice or information that MAPS may be infringing on a patent belonging to another.
- Using an overall look or design that is confusingly similar to the overall look or design of another’s product or service, and causing confusion in the minds of consumers as to who is the source of the product or service.
Trade Secret Infringement
- Disclosing to others any information received in confidence from or protected from disclosure by a supplier, contractor, customer, or other third party.
- Stealing, soliciting, or using the trade-secret information of another without written permission from the owner of the information.
DO NOT DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY SOLICIT, OBTAIN, OR USE TRADE-SECRET INFORMATION BELONGING TO OTHERS FROM JOB APPLICANTS, NEW OR EXISTINGMAPS EMPLOYEES, INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS, OR AGENTS, ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURERS, SUPPLIERS, VENDORS, CUSTOMERS, OR OTHER THIRD PARTIES. IF YOU BECOME AWARE THAT ANY MAPS EMPLOYEE, INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR, OR AGENT MAY BE USING OR DISCUSSING TRADE SECRETS OF HIS OR HER FORMER EMPLOYER OR ANOTHER THIRD PARTY IN HIS OR HER WORK FOR MAPS, YOU MUST CONSULT WITH MAPS MANAGEMENT IMMEDIATELY.
MAPS Trade Secrets
MAPS officers, directors, volunteers, content presenters, employees, independent contractors, and agents should not disclose MAPS proprietary or confidential information to third parties with whom MAPS is doing business, such as suppliers, licensees, or consultants, except as specifically needed for the third party to perform the services or task requested. Such third parties should be provided information only on a “need to know” basis to allow them to perform the specific services or task requested. All disclosure of MAPS proprietary or confidential information may be made only after a confidentiality agreement has been entered into with the third party.
All photos/images used must either:
- Have been created by your organization
- Have a purchased license
- Have written permission for use given by creator/copyright holder
- Be in the public domain
- The Board will:
- Through active promotion of this policy, regularly review the leadership and commitment given toIntellectual Property Rights.
- Monitor performance by way of periodic management reports and assurances.
- The CEO will:
- Ensure that the organization’s practices and processes incorporate precautions against infractions of this policy;
- Where appropriate, delegate responsibility for compliance to officers with responsibility for particular sections.
- Oversee the performance of subordinate officers in these matters.
- Review and report to the Board, as appropriate, on the effectiveness of the management systems established to ensure compliance with the policy.
- Analyze material breaches and identified compliance system weaknesses for systematic trends and ensure that any adverse trends are addressed.
- Promote a culture of effective policy compliance across the organization.
3. All staff, volunteer members, content developers/presenters and learners at all levels will:
- Ensure that they are aware of the organization’s policy;
- Not act in a manner that is contrary to the policy;
- Where appropriate, suggest ways in which practices, systems and procedures could be improved so as to reduce the likelihood of violation of the intellectual property policy occurring.
The CEO will initially review the organization’s procedures in all areas to ensure that these are in accordance with the principles expressed in this policy, and will report to the Board on this matter.
The CEO will review any changes to the organization’s procedures in all areas to ensure that these are in accordance with the principles expressed in this policy.
This policy, as well as all other applicable policies, is provided to MAPS members via a link to the policy posted on the MAPS website.
Educational content developers/planners and instructors are made aware of the policy via a link to the policy posted on MAPS website, a discussion of this and all relevant policies during the kickoff call, and are required to accept compliance with the policy via email confirmation acknowledgement.
Any notice of non-compliance with the policy will be immediately reviewed. If a content developer/presenter is deemed to not be in compliance with the policy in regards to the development and/or presentation of a MAPS continuing education offering, s/he will be advised of the infraction, and will be given one opportunity to immediately correct the infraction. If the infraction is not corrected forthwith or if a second violation occurs, the individual will be removed from the program. At that point:
- If the individual is not a MAPS member, s/he will be permanently barred from participating in any MAPS content development and/or presentation. In addition, s/he will not be permitted to join MAPS at any point.
- If the individual is a MAPS member, s/he will be permanently barred from participating in any MAPS content development and/or presentation. In addition, her/his MAPS membership will be immediately revoked with no possibility of dues reimbursement or future membership.
- If the individual is a MAPS employee, her/his employment will be summarily terminated.