Understanding Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property is a term that encompasses all forms of creativity that are protected either under statutes or by common law. It includes inventions, discoveries, know-how, show-how, processes, unique materials, copyrightable works, original data and other creative or artistic works.

Intellectual Property (IP) also includes the physical embodiment of intellectual effort. For example, IP can be models, machines, devices, apparatus, instrumentation, circuits, computer programs and visualizations, biological materials, chemicals, other compositions of matter, plans and records of research.

Some IP is protected by statute or legislation, such as patent, copyright, trademark, service mark, mask work or by plant variety protection certificate and confidentiality agreements. Often a specific technology is protected using multiple mechanisms. For example, some computer software can be protected by copyright, patent, trade secret, trademark, and contracts.

Intellectual Property is a term that encompasses all forms of creativity that are protected either under statutes or by common law. It includes inventions, discoveries, know-how, show-how, processes, unique materials, copyrightable works, original data and other creative or artistic works.

Intellectual Property (IP) also includes the physical embodiment of intellectual effort. For example, IP can be models, machines, devices, apparatus, instrumentation, circuits, computer programs and visualizations, biological materials, chemicals, other compositions of matter, plans and records of research.

Some IP is protected by statute or legislation, such as patent, copyright, trademark, service mark, mask work or by plant variety protection certificate and confidentiality agreements. Often a specific technology is protected using multiple mechanisms. For example, some computer software can be protected by copyright, patent, trade secret, trademark, and contracts.

Inventor's Handbook

An introduction to the University’s intellectual property policies, patenting and commercialization services, intellectual property fundamentals, and most importantly, to your role in the process of commercializing University innovations.

University Policies

"Intellectual property" is a category of intangible property which includes patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and trademarks. University employees and other persons using University facilities, equipment, funds, or resources need to be aware of University policies and procedures related to intellectual property issues, including rights to inventions and copyrightable works developed at the University. Learn more.

Patents & Inventions

The University has the right to own inventions made by its faculty, staff, students, or others using University resources such as facilities, equipment or funds controlled by the University. Learn more. Also be sure to read our Patents FAQ.

Copyrightable Works

Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of "original works of authorship" including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other intellectual works that are fixed in a tangible form of expression. Learn more. Also be sure to read our Copyright FAQ.

Start-Ups Licensing Guide

Licensing University technology into a pre-funding or early stage company (“Start-Up Company”). This process follows the OTM’s internal technology screening process. Read more.

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