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The following appeared as part of an article in a trade publication.
“Stronger laws are needed to protect new kinds of home-security systems from
being copied and sold by imitators. With such protection, manufacturers will
naturally invest in the development of new home-security products and production
technologies. Without stronger laws, therefore, manufacturers will cut back on
investment. From this will follow a corresponding decline not only in product
quality and marketability, but also in production efficiency, and thus ultimately a
loss of manufacturing jobs in the industry.”
Discuss how well reasoned... etc.
The author of this article warns that stronger laws are needed to protect new kinds of home security systems from being copied and
sold by imitators in order to prevent an eventual loss of manufacturing jobs within the industry. This conclusion is based on the following
chain of reasoning: With the protection of stronger laws, manufacturers will naturally invest in the development of new home security
products and production technologies, whereas without such protection, manufacturers will cut back on investment. If manufacturers cut
back on investment, then a decline in product quality and marketability, as well as in production efficiency, will result. This, in turn, will
cause the predicted loss of industry jobs. This line of reasoning is unconvincing for several reasons.
To begin with, the author assumes that existing copyright, patent and trade secret laws are inadequate to protect home security system
design. But the author never explains why these laws don’t offer sufficient protection, nor does he offer any evidence to show that this is
Secondly, the argument depends on the twin assumptions that stronger legal protection will encourage manufacturers to invest in home
security-system production, while the absence of strong legal protection will have the opposite effect. The author fails to provide any
evidence or reasons for accepting these assumptions about cause-and-effect connections between the law and what happens in the
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Moreover, both of these assumptions can be challenged. It is possible that stronger protections would not greatly affect industry
investment or jobs overall, but would instead help to determine which companies invested heavily and, therefore, provided the jobs. For
instance, a less-restricted market might foster investment and competition among smaller companies, whereas stronger legal
protections might encourage market domination by fewer, larger companies.
In conclusion, I do not find this argument compelling. The author must provide evidence that home security system designs are not being
adequately protected by current patent, copyright or trade secret laws. The author must also provide an argument for the assumptions
that stronger laws will create more industry jobs overall, while the absence of stronger laws will result in fewer industry jobs.