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.

Featured Article

A Simple Approach to Setting Reasonable Royalties for Standard-Essential Patents

This article suggests binding arbitration as a way to resolve disputes arising within standard-setting organizations.

By: Mark Lemley, Carl Shapiro

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.

TAP Blog

Do Patents Stifle Cumulative Innovation?

Professor Joshua Gans, Rotman School of Management, discusses a new paper by Bhaven Sampat and Heidi Williams that measures the impact of patents on follow-on innovations.

Joshua Gans

Quote

The Lesson of the Power Loom

"During the early stage of a major new technology, inventors share designs and knowledge and patent little; later, things become more competitive and patents play a larger role. As technologies mature, firms share less and patent more." — James Bessen, Lecturer, Boston University School of Law

James Bessen
Slate
May 21, 2014