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Making the US Economy Grow Again: The Role of Intellectual Property Rights with Stephen Haber

What is “intellectual property?

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, or symbols, names, and images used in commerce.

IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright, and trademarks. These legal protections enable people to earn recognition or financially benefit from what they invent or create.

What is a patent?

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention. In other words, a patent is an exclusive right to a product or a process that generally provides a new way of doing something or offers a new technical solution to a problem. To get a patent, technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the public in a patent application.

What rights do a patent provide?

A patent owner has the right to decide who may—or may not—use the patented invention for the period in which the invention is protected. In other words, patent protection means that the invention cannot be commercially made, used, distributed, imported, or sold by others without the patent owner’s consent.

How long does a patent’s protection last?

Patent protection is granted for a limited period, generally twenty years from the application’s filing date.

Who grants patents?

A patent is granted by a national patent office or by a regional office that carries out the task for a number of countries.

What is a patent troll?

A patent troll is a person or company that buys patents—without any intent to produce a product—and then enforces those patents against accused infringers in order to collect licensing fees.