Chapter 1

Basic Intellectual Property Concepts

1.1 Introduction

To develop a patent strategy, a researcher or a research manager must be familiar with certain intellectual property concepts, and this chapter is designed to provide that intellectual property foundation. As stated in the Preface, this book is not a ‘patent law’ book. There are many ‘patent law’ books on the market and many continuing education courses that teach patent law fundamentals. This book will attempt to provide the researcher or research manager with the minimum information required to help develop an intellectual property or patent strategy with a patent professional. Patent professionals—patent attorneys and patent agents that prepare, file, and prosecute patent applications; patent liaisons that coordinate patent filings in larger companies; and information specialists that search the prior art—all play an important part in the development of the overall strategy of a business. The researcher's exact involvement with these professionals will depend in great part on whether or not the inventor is a private researcher or an employee of a large corporation.

In any case, the researcher will still need to rely on professionals for help with patent law matters. There are three reasons for this. First of all, it is impossible to cover all aspects of global patent law in one chapter. The second reason is that, while one can develop and implement a patent strategy, should there be a need to interpret patents legally, ...

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