Intellectual Property FAQs and Resources
Intellectual property, or IP, refers broadly to creations of the mind. IP can include various creations, such as confidential business information, inventions, literary and artistic works, and designs, as well as symbols, names and images used in commerce. The United States Constitution provides methods for securing IP protection in the U.S. to an original creator or owner. IP can belong to this creator or owner, or assigned to and owned by another person or entity.
IP, when properly protected, enables a business to grow and protect their market share, and maintain and guard their customer/consumer relationships. Further, a business can leverage their IP as an asset, to generate revenue through licensing or sale, positively affect business valuations for financing and investing, and deter external threats and litigation from competitors.
Although IP owners have a right to conduct their own IP proceedings pro se (i.e., “for oneself” or “on one’s own behalf”), it is highly advisable that any creator or owner seek a licensed IP professional given the extreme value that a properly protected IP portfolio can provide to a business. Licensed IP professionals provide expertise to help IP creators and owners navigate the complex IP legal field. This expertise can include steering through domestic and foreign IP protection processes, preparing and filing IP applications, representation in agency, inter parte and litigation proceedings, monetizing IP, and related sale and licensing agreements. .
Intellectual property can be protected outside the U.S. on a per country/jurisdiction basis. See International IP Rights.