Books on Intellectual Property Law in the USD Law Library
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Intellectual Property Law Research
This research guide covers the main resources for intellectual property law in the United States, with separate pages, or "tabs," on Copyrights, Patents, Patent Searching, Trademarks and Trade Secrets. Also included are selected resources under the tab "International Law."
What is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce. (WIPO) The law of intellectual property is organized into four broad areas: patent; copyright; trademark and trade secrets.
|1. A PATENT is an intellectual property right granted by the United States government to an inventor "to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States" for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted. (USPTO) Three types of patents exist:|
|a. Utility patents protect useful processes, machines, articles of manufacture, and compositions of matter. Examples of utility patents: fiber optics, computer hardware, medications.|
|b. Design patents protect the unauthorized use of new, original, and ornamental designs for articles of manufacture. Examples of design patents: the look of an athletic shoe, a bicycle helmet, the Star Wars characters.|
|c. Plant patents protect invented or discovered, asexually reproduced plant varieties. Example of plant patents: Hybrid tea roses, Silver Queen corn, Better Boy tomatoes.|
|2. A TRADEMARK is a brand name. A trademark or service mark is any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods or services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods or services. (USPTO) The federal government provides federal registration of trademarks and service marks. Example of trademarks: the roar of the MGM lion, the pink of the Owens-Corning insulation, and the shape of a Coca-Cola bottle.|
|3. A COPYRIGHT is a protection provided by federal law to the authors of "original works of authorship," including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and other intellectual works. (Copyright Office) Example of copyrighted works: Gone With The Wind (the book and the film), Beatles recordings, and video games.|
4. TRADE SECRETS are information that companies keep secret to give them an advantage over their competitors. The formula for Coca-Cola is the most famous trade secret.
Image and Information from USPTO
This guide was created by Marsha K. Stacey. It has been updated by other members of the McKusick Law Library staff.
Online General Intellectual Property Law Resources
Bloomberg Law (log in required): Practice Centers > Intellectual Property Center. Resources include the United States Patent Quarterly containing patent, trademark and copyright decisions.
Bloomberg Law - Legal Analysis & News:
Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal
Patent, Trademark & Copyright Law Daily
World Intellectual Property Report
HeinOnline (law school database): Search for law review and journal articles > Law Journal Library > use a "field search" (keywords) and the subject "Intellectual Property"
LexisAdvance (log in required): Browse Topic > Patent Law, Copyright Law, Trademark Law or Trade Secrets Law
WestlawNext (log in required): Intellectual Property
Current Awareness - IPWatchdog Blog
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