Pollution, Intellectual Property

Describes the inclusion of third party intellectual property in a product, e.g., code pollution is the intentional or inadvertent copying of third party code into what would otherwise be the code-writer’s (or his employer’s) proprietary code. The difficulty is that such IP pollution is an infringement of the third party’s rights for which the third party may be able to sue, or alternately demand payment or other benefits under an existing license agreement. See tar baby license, clean room, derivative work, code-napping.