Manual for Azerbaijan companies Rena Safaralieva

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First, we should review the notion of property. Legal forms of property can differ, depending on the 

organization of a society and its state system. Classification based on the type of property distinguishes 

between material (real estate and movables) and intangible property.  


Intellectual property is a subtype of intangible property and  is protected by copyright and other 

instruments. This type of property differs very much from other types of property. Copyright protection 

also differs depending on the product variety and, in general, is very complicated. Appropriation of other 

people’s ideas and written works is quite common nowadays, as it is very difficult to prove authorship of 

intellectual property – this task requires extensive efforts and time. On the other hand, the chances that 

somebody else will have a similar idea are quite high - this is why sometimes it is very difficult to tell 

with certainty who is the genuine author. However, there are universally accepted mechanisms to protect 

intellectual property by copyright, patents and other tools to safeguard  commercial secrets.  


Copyright.  Initially copyright covered written products only. Today its sphere of application has 

expanded to embrace other forms used to express ideas: e.g., works of art, movies, audio and video 

products, computer programs. In developed countries, a copyright is valid within the lifetime of an author, 

and 70 years after his or her death. Nobody can use a copyright-protected product without special 

permission from the author or, if the author has died or sold the copyright, from other copyright holders, 

for example, the author’s heirs.




We regret to state that in Azerbaijan cases of copyright violation can be observed practically in all areas

the most visible sector being that of show business. Sales of pirated audio and video discs are quite a 

common sight. Another example of copyright violation is the presentation of Azerbaijan  songs by 

Turkish television channels as original Turkish products.  


The Turkish cell phone company Turkcell used one of the songs by a popular Azerbaijan  singer and 

composer, Brilliant Dadasheva, without referring to the author of the song. Only the personal 

intervention of Ms. Dadasheva changed the situation. The company settled out of court.  


Patents. Patents differ from copyright, as patents protect inventions rather than artistic, textual or  media 

products. Patents are valid for 20 years from the time of registration, and authorize patent holders to use 

their inventions in their own interests. At the same time, an inventor can sell a patent or issue a license for 

its use by another party.. A patent prohibits the disclosure even of components of an invention. After the 

expiry of a patent’s term, the invention becomes societal property.  


Production secrets.  Secrets should in principle not be disclosed, but, unlike copyrights and patents, if 

secrets are disclosed they lose their status and are not protected by the law. The term ‘production secret’ 

usually refers to a product at development stage, which later is to be protected by a patent. Different 

enterprises might produce similar products and compete for a patent, but at the development stage, they 

should protect their secrets themselves both out of legal and ethical considerations.   


Trademark.  Intellectual property also includes trademarks and brands. In accordance with its marketing 

strategy, any enterprise tends to brand its products with a trademark. These trademarks are considered to 

be intellectual property and are protected by the law.  


Truthfulness in advertising 


We all see and hear persistent commercials, signboards and announcements every day on television and 

on the radio, in newspapers and on the streets. Every business believes it necessary to advertise and 

market their product. Unfortunately, many businesspersons resort to unethical methods. Advertisements 

sometimes aim to deceive shoppers and force certain products upon them. Misleading consumers in this 

way may ultimately give them a lower opinion of the advertisers.  




 R.T. de George,  Business Ethics, volume 1,  Progress Group Publishing House,   St.Petersburg – Moscow, 2001, p. 501  

Let’s discuss advertising from the point of view of business ethics. The main purpose of advertising is to 

create better conditions for the sale of goods. It goes without saying that the function of an advertisement 

is not limited to the provision of information. Through a commercial, the manufacturer attempts to lure a 

customer to buy his product in preference to another, by forming a certain positive opinion of the product 

among consumers. In other words, a commercial performs several functions at a time. Below we will try 

to discuss three unethical methods, used in advertising:  


false and/or deliberately confusing commercials;  


inducement to buy a certain product by use of advertising playing unfairly on the feelings of 



use of inadmissible methods of advertisement.  


Many commercials stand closer to a lie than the truth. If a commercial provides false information and its 

main objective is to deceive potential customers, such a commercial should be viewed as amoral. If an 

advertising agency resorts to lying, there is no moral justification. There are examples in the advertising 

of numerous products sold in the market. For example, information given on the composition of many 

foodstuffs, such as vegetable oil, sausages, soft drinks, etc., does not always correspond to reality.  


Some commercials deceive without uttering a single word. Customers judge the product’s quality by a 

picture on the packaging, and believe that the product’s contents correspond to the picture. However, we 

can find numerous illustrations to the contrary. For example, a product entitled “chicken broth”, with an 

attractive picture of a chicken on the packaging, contains no chicken meat at all. Such marketing fails to 

meet any ethical standards.  


Even without giving false information or confusing pictures, some types of commercial can deceive and 

confuse. Some commercials deliberately present information in such a way that ordinary people are likely 

to arrive at wrong conclusions. Makers of such commercials try to shift the blame onto the information 

recipients who came to the wrong (but intended) conclusions. Such claims cannot be wholly accepted. For 

example, many manufacturers of vegetable oils stress that their product does not contain any cholesterol. 

Strictly speaking, this is correct, but a customer not well versed in chemistry will still have an incorrect 

perception of this product. In fact cholesterol is only found in animal fats, hence vegetable oils are 

cholesterol-free by definition. However, producers of such commercials deliberately distort this 

information and the results of such deception are obvious. This trick can not be justified by ethical norms, 

because, even if this commercial does not lie, it definitely resorts to deception.  


Attempts to influence a person’s will through particular methods of advertising also contradict ethical 

principles. Encouraging people to perform certain acts, or influencing their will through lying, deception 

and all kinds of cunning ruses is amoral. But how can advertisements influence people’s behavior in this 



The results of a number of psychological tests provide evidence that in addition to visual and verbal 

information, human consciousness is affected by the sub-conscious. Producers of an advertisement can 

include any information into a video clip, film, television program or melody. A person seeing the 

advertisement may not realize that he or she has seen the information or been influenced by the 

advertisement, but this information has in any case been recorded into the memory. Such advertising is 

known as “subliminal” and can influence our wishes and behavior even beyond our own volition.



are entitled to the right of choice; we are free to switch to another television or radio channel or turn over 

a page of a magazine or newspaper. But we can not get rid of a subliminal advertisement. Such an 

intrusion, distorting human free will, cannot be accepted by ethical standards.  


There are numerous commercials which are apparently produced for children. They advertise, for 

example, sweets, chewing gum or vitamins. Though these commercials are ostensibly addressed to naive 

and inexperienced kids who can not tell a lie from the truth, in fact, they target parents. The main purpose 

is to get the children to force their parents to buy the product advertised. How acceptable is such 



 Tom L. Beuchamp, Manupulative Advertising, in  Business & Professional Ethics Journal, 3 (Spring / Summer 1984) pp. 1-


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