Intellectual Property Laws for the CISSP Exam

The Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP CBK, Fourth Edition has taken out the “Laws, Regulations, Investigations, and Compliance” domain and combined it with the new “Security and Risk Management” domain.

Instead of pages upon pages of details on patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets, it is now just about 2 pages.

What I’m trying to convey to future nervous CISSP exam takers is you don’t have to know it THAT deeply.  To pass the exam, you just have to know the definition and how to apply them.

So we’re going to use this blog to explain intellectual property laws.


From what I’ve read patents are for solid physical inventions, and not so much literary works or ideas, which are protected by copyrights.

So a patent doesn’t really apply for this blog.

I can’t really think of an “invention” to help others learn more about studying for the CISSP, more like an app or a book maybe?


Ha, it’d be interesting if you could buy a toy or gadget that helped you study for the CISSP exam.

Other patents include: the Amazon Kindle, Nintendo Gameboy, a BBQ grill, the hair dryer…


If I were to file for a trademark it would be for “Study Notes and Theory”.


“Study Notes and Theory” protects the name from being used elsewhere and uniquely identifies it to the world.  If you Google for “Study Notes and Theory”, you will only find my blog with that name.

It distinguishes my site from any other, and prevents others from using this name.

I should really trademark “Study Notes and Theory”.

Other trademarks include: Google, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Mercedes…


A copyright law would be most appropriate for this blog.

Copyright laws protect artists, because artists express themselves differently.

They don’t necessarily express original ideas, but they take those original ideas, and express them differently.  It is this “differently” part that can hold a copyright.

Music is an idea, while an artist’s song is the expression.

Java is an idea, while a programmer’s software is an expression.

Writing about how to study for the CISSP exam is the idea, while how the author writes about it is the actual expression.  The expression can be copyrighted.

This blog is an expression of the idea of how to study for the CISSP exam.  This entire blog is my own original expression, and I could copyright it as my own.

Decrypting using XOR is the idea, while the graphic is my expression of how to interpret it.


Trade Secret

There are a lot of CISSP study material on the Internet.  There are books, apps, websites, e-books, and online courses to aid in studying for the CISSP.

But does this blog have some secret or special technique or formula for teaching CISSP topics?  Does my special technique or teaching style help others learn about the CISSP in a way that no one else can?

Maybe that’s for the readers to decide.

If that is the case, I’ll file the technique as a trade secret.

Other trade secrets include:  the secret formula for Coca-Cola, the Waze App routing algorithm, and even how to make it on the New York Times Bestseller List!

Let me know if you have questions!