Intellectual Property

Protecting intellectual property encourages development and sharing of new ideas and is a critical component of our economy.


How do we allow for the open sharing of breakthrough ideas and innovations like Pinying while also protecting an inventor’s rights?



Patents grant a time-limited monopoly, allowing others to learn, grow, and improve an invention, while also ensuring the original creator is recognized, attributed and rewarded.





How are consumers assured of the source and quality of the goods they are purchasing, and how do businesses differentiate their products from others? How do we motivate individuals to create new artistic works and share them with society?



Trademarks ™ strengthen consumer confidence in the products they use, build brand value, and create global economic growth by encouraging competition. Copyrights © incentivize and protect authorship by preventing the original work from being reproduced without permission from the owner. 


How do we identify and protect the knowledge and experience surrounding an invention, which co-exists with and provides support to the other aspects of intellectual property?



Know-how is the least tangible type of intellectual property and includes information related to traditions, relationships, and experiences. Without it, inventions and their applications are less effective and would face greater barriers to adoption. 


Patent Documents

Light bulb, Telephone, and Toilet Paper Roll Patent Documents

Light bulb patent application. By Thomas Edison (reprinted by the Norris Peters Co.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons:

Alexander Graham Bell's Telephone Patent Drawing. By Alexander Graham Bell [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons:

'Toilet Paper Roll' U.S. patent illustration (for a roll of perforated toilet paper). By Seth Wheeler [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons: