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
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 oral disclosures
of an invention that is open to the general public, without the benefit of a confidential disclosure agreement.