About Intellectual Property
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) defines intellectual property (IP) as creations from mind. They can include literary and artistic works, designs, and also symbols, names, and images used for business. WIPO identifies 3 types of IP:
USPTO (2016). Basics 2: Trademarks, patents and copyrights [YouTube Video]. https://youtu.be/4cIBcl7dD4w
A patent is defined as a grant or property right over an invention or work for a set amount of time. It prevents others from making, using, or selling it. An inventor (and their colleagues if any are actively involved) can apply for a patent through a national patent agency. Patents can also be issued by international patent agencies and also for multiple countries. In the US, the United States Trade and Patent Office (USTPO) is the issuing body, while the European Patent Office (EPO) issues them for participating countries in Europe and elsewhere.
Works that are novel, useful, and nonobvious may be patented. Perpetual motion devices, abstract ideas, laws of nature, and naturally occurring substances cannot be granted patents.
How to Search for Patents
University of Central Florida Libraries (2016). How to do a patent search [Vimeo video]. https://vimeo.com/showcase/4100116/video/164100187
Patent Assistance at FAU
Local and National Patent Resource Centers