Skip to Main Content

Intellectual Property: Home

What is Intellectual Property?

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) defines intellectual property (IP) as, "creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce."

A Note on Intellectual Property Policy

Intellectual Property policy is constantly changing as new technologies develop and new sociopolitical issues arise. Try using the advanced search feature of the database you are using to adjust the results of your search to include only materials from the last 2-3 years. This will ensure that you are finding the most current information.

Guarding intellectual property

A CrashCourse in Intellectual Property

Protecting Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property is protected by law through the use of copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Generally, these protections cover the following types of IP:

  • Copyrights - works of authorship, such as novels, movies, songs, and software
  • Patents - inventions or discoveries, such as machinery, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing processes
  • Trademarks - identifying words, phrases, symbols, or imagery associated with a particular brand

To learn more, visit the  U.S. Copyright Office and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.