The World Intellectual Property Organization defines intellectual property as "creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce." IP is a legal term, and these "creations of the mind" are legally protected for a period of time so that the creators have an incentive to create, but eventually they fall out of legal protection so that the creations can be reused and expanded upon by future creators. Inventions are protected by patents; literary and artistic works by copyright; and designs, symbols, names and images by trademark. Below are some resources for learning more about IP and how to protect your own.
Patent applications are filed to the government body responsible for intellectual property in each country. The main bodies include the U.S. Patent and Trademark Organization (USPTO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the European Patent Office (EPO), the Canadian Intellectual Property Organization (CIPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), and others. To find patents and patent applications, a good first step is the government body responsible, but these databases can be tricky to use, so there are also a number of free services that aim to make patent searching a bit easier, as well as Lexis-Nexis and Scopus, two of the Library's subscription databases.
Patent Application Alerts - You can now sign up to get an alert every time a patent application on a topic of relevance to you is published, a new service from the USPTO.
International patent office search engines:
Free domestic or international patent search engines:
Databases with patent search (note: off-campus users will be asked to log in with their myStevens username and password):