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3m Organization E-Business

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3M Corporation

3M was founded in 1902 and has grown into an extremely diversified international organization. The company offers a variety of products and services: “consumer and office; display and graphics; electro and communications; health care; industrial and transportation; and safety, security and protection services,” (3M, 2007). 3M does business in several countries all over the world; because of this, they participate in e-business on an international level. This opens the door to many potential legal issues that the company may have to face. Some of those issues may be intellectual property such as copyright issues, and contract issues (Nasir, 2001).

Intellectual Property

For an international company conducting E-business, the theft of intellectual property, such as copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets, is a serious issue. The 3M Corporation has rights to many brands, trademarks, products, and technologies. If hackers were to hack into the company’s Website and steal all the information, they would have all the inside information and they would be able to recreate the products or sell the information to someone else. In some countries, information is considered something that is shared among everyone, therefore the act of “stealing” information is not considered unethical. However, there are intellectual property laws to protect against this sort of theft.

On a small scale level, copyright law is considered civil law. This means that civil courts would decide on most copyright issues. However, in the United States, “commercial copyright violation involving more than 10 copies and value over $2500” is considered a felony (Templeton, 2004). Within the United States, these issues would be decided in criminal court.

On an international level, the intellectual property laws are decided by the World Trade Organization, or WTO (Franklin, 2006). This is an international organization that creates the rules for international trade. At this time, it is the “only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations,” (WTO, 2007). There are several laws protecting against intellectual property theft. Each law is designed around the specific type of intellectual property. Those laws are designed to work on an international level (Copyright, 2007).

In most cases, international intellectual property cases are addressed through the World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO (Franklin, 2006). The WIPO was founded in 1967 with the purpose of protecting intellectual property rights throughout the world. The conflicts that go through WIPO are solved through their arbitration and mediation services (World, 2007).


The 3M Corporation has to write and agree with many contracts on a local and international basis. Contracts are basically legal promises. It is an agreement, usually in writing, that can be legally enforced (Wex, 2006). Many problems can arise with contracts with any organization; 3M is no different in that aspect. The parties involved in the contract have to both agree to the terms. Once agreed upon, all parties involved have to keep up their end of the deal, otherwise the contract is breached.

The first step in a contract is to write it out. After the contract has been written, the parties have to agree on it. Within the contract, the parties should have conditions or stipulations on which court will handle disputes and contract violations. This is known as the “choice-of-court agreement,” (Trooboff, 2004).

If there is a dispute, arbitration is usually the answer. Hopefully an

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