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.

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Who’s Afraid of the Dragon?

Nicholas Bloom
Source: The Economist
October 15, 2011

Trolls, Geeks and Lots of Lawyers

Robert Barr
Source: The Deal Magazine
October 14, 2011

Senate Passes Patent Bill

James Bessen
Source: Washington Post
September 8, 2011

Founder of Priceline Spoiling for a Fight Over Tech Patents

Robert Barr
Source: The Wall Street Journal
August 22, 2011

Tivo Takes $500m to End Patent Suit

Richard Epstein
Source: Financial Times
May 2, 2011
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TAP Blog

Northwestern Professor Daniel Spulber Makes a Case for Patents

The Case for Patents, a new book by Northwestern University business and law professor Daniel Spulber, emphasizes the importance of incentives for invention, innovation, and technology adoption.

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.

Featured Article

A Toolkit of Policies to Promote Innovation

Innovation is an important route to continued productivity growth in the United States. Tax credits for research and development (R&D) are among the best ways to spur innovation. Evidence as to whether the patent system promotes innovation is inconclusive.

By: Heidi Williams, John Van Reenen, Nicholas Bloom