Intellectual Property


A patent provides protection for an invention to the owner of the patent. The protection is granted for a limited period, generally 20 years. Patent protection means that the invention cannot be commercially made, used, distributed or sold without the patent owner's consent.

TAP Blog

Daniel Spulber Provides Insights into the Value of Patents

Two papers by Professor Daniel Spulber look at the interplay of the economic benefit of patents and the public policies that impact the development of innovation.

TAP Staff Blogger

Fact Sheets

Software Patents

A patent provides an exclusive legal right to an invention for a limited period of time, in exchange for public disclosure of that innovation. As with other property rights, patents may be sold, transferred, or licensed for a third party’s use.


Instagram’s Snapchat Ripoff Is Brazen and Totally Fine

"The idea of featured ‘Stories’ is not new, so any patents would likely be quite specific to implementation details. And because the implementation/interfaces are slightly different, copyright doesn’t provide any protection. This is an area where IP laws don’t prevent the copying of another’s features or innovations." — R. Polk Wagner, Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania

R. Polk Wagner
August 2, 2016

Featured Article

Trading and Enforcing Patent Rights

We study how the market for innovation affects enforcement of patent rights.

By: Alberto Galasso, Carlos J. Serrano, Mark Schankerman