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Intellectual Property


The purpose of this LibGuide is to help the academic community find information about intellectual property. The Intellectual Property Research Guide covers resources for researching patents, trademarks, copyright, and other areas of intellectual property law. 


What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind.  Examples include inventions, literary or artistic works, designs, symbols; as well as names and images used in commerce. IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.

What is Copyright?

Copyright protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works. The duration of copyright protection depends on several factors.  For works created by an individual, protection lasts for the life of the author, plus 70 years. For works created anonymously, pseudonymously, and for hire, protection lasts 95 years from the date of publication or 120 years from the date of creation, whichever is shorter.

What is a Trademark?

trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. Some examples of trademarks include brand names, slogans, and logos.  A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods.  The term "trademark" is often used in a general sense to refer to both trademarks and service marks.

What is a patent?

patent is a limited duration property right relating to an invention, granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in exchange for public disclosure of the invention. Patentable materials include machines, manufactured articles, industrial processes, and chemical compositions. The duration of patent protection depends on the type of patent granted.

​Definitions from the World Intellectual Property Organization and the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office

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