Intellectual Property: Emphasis on Patents


The term intellectual property (IP) is deprecated by some scholars in the field (Burk and Lemley 2009). That terminology appears here because of its widespread use and general recognition. The term IP is generally considered to encompass four major areas: patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Patents are covered in this chapter, patent processes are reviewed in Chapter 5, copyrights are addressed in Chapter 6, trade secrets are surveyed in Chapter 7, and trademarks are reviewed in Chapter 8. The unqualified term patent is generally taken to mean a utility patent, which is emphasized in this chapter as being of most interest to engineers. Plant patents and design patents ...

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