Microscope Industry Header copy

  Division of Research and Graduate Studies


Resources 1

Intellectual Property Language Definitions1

Tell a friend about this page.
All fields required.
Can be sent to only one email address at a time.
Share Facebook Icon Twitter Icon


    R E S O U R C E S    






        Intellectual Property Basics


What is intellectual property?     

Intellectual property is an invention of the mind (books, materials, symbols,
methods, etc.) protected by a set of exclusive rights corresponding to patent,
copyright, and/or trademark laws.

Why should my invention/idea be protected?

Intellectual property protection (patents, copyrights and trademarks) can provide
economic incentive for the inventor, institution, and company licensing an ECU
invention. Protection also affords the right to exclude others from practicing the
invention for a sufficient period of time to recoup the initial investment and
develop early stage projects.
Is it important to establish intellectual property protection for successful commercialization of my

Yes and No. Intellectual property is a valuable asset that when protected with
patents, copyrights and/or trademarks can strengthen interest from potential
industry partners. However, ECU can also license some inventions that do
not have intellectual property protection.


Does ECU handle the protection of other forms of intellectual property such as copyright and trademark?

Yes, ECU can also
assist in filing for copyright and trademark protection.

What happens if my invention is disclosed publicly?

If an invention is publicly disclosed, then foreign intellectual property rights will be severely limited, but intellectual 
property protection in the U.S. will still be available for a period of one year following first public disclosure.      

How is a public disclosure defined?

A public disclosure includes printed publications and presentations, and sometimes
disclosures of an invention that is open to the general public, without the benefit
of a confidential disclosure agreement.                                                                                           

East Carolina University | Office of Technology Transfer
2200 South Charles Blvd | Greenville, NC 27858 | Suite 2500, Mail Stop 163
252.328.9549 | Contact Us
© 2014 | Terms of Use | Last Updated: 2014-04-09
Give To East Carolina University