Intellectual Property

Patents

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

Which discoveries should we patent?

MIT economics professor Heidi Williams reviews recent US Supreme Court rulings on patent eligibility and presents her rigorous empirical research on the question: do patents impede or encourage innovation?

Heidi Williams

Fact Sheets

Patent Reform

A patent is an exclusive legal right to own and market an invention or improvement for a limited period of time, in exchange for public disclosure of the invention.

Quote

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
Wired
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