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.

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Upcoming Events

Thirteenth Annual Conference on Innovation Economics

Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth event

June 11, 2020, Chicago, IL

TAP Blog

Who Profits from Patents?

Stanford economist Heidi Williams investigates how US patent allowances affect firm performance and worker pay. Beyond simply raising average earnings, she finds that patents exacerbate within-firm inequality.

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

Changing U.S. Patent Policy on Tech Standards Stirs Concerns

"The best way to resolve this issue is not to change policy approaches." — Mark Lemley, Professor of Law, Stanford University

Mark Lemley
Bloomberg Law
December 26, 2018

Featured Article

Global Collaborative Patents

Some firms based in the United States file collaborative patents on inventions made by teams with members inside and outside the United States. This collaborative innovation is growing in importance. Collaborative patents tend to be of high quality.

By: William R. Kerr, Sari Pekkala Kerr