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Intellectual Property: Statutes & Practice Guides

A guide to researching intellectual property law for law students, bar examinees, and other researchers.



Copyright — The right to copy; specifically, a property right in an original work of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, giving the holder the exclusive right to reproduce, adapt, distribute, perform, and display the work.

Intellectual Property — A category of intangible rights protecting commercially valuable products of the human intellect. The category comprises primarily trademark, copyright, and patent rights, but also includes trade-secret rights, publicity rights, moral rights, and rights against unfair competition.

Infringement — An act that interferes with one of the exclusive rights of a patent, copyright, or trademark owner.

License — A permission, usually revocable, to commit some act that would otherwise be unlawful.

Madrid Protocol — A 1996 international agreement that allows citizens of a Madrid Agreement signatory nation to apply for a single international trademark through the World Intellectual Property Organization instead of registering the trademark in each individual nation. An applicant must apply for the trademark's registration in a treaty-member nation before applying for international trademark protection.

Patent — A governmental grant of the exclusive right to use an invention or design.

Public DomainThe universe of inventions and creative works that are not protected by intellectual-property rights and are therefore available for anyone to use without charge.

Trademark — A word, phrase, logo, or other graphic symbol used by a manufacturer or seller to distinguish its product or products from those of others.

Trade Secret — A formula, process, device, or other business information that is kept confidential to maintain an advantage over competitors

Work — An original expression, in fixed or tangible form that may be entitled to common-law or statutory copyright protection.

Black’s Law Dictionary, 9Th ed. 2009


Practice Guides


World Intellectual Property Organization: WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation. We are a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 188 member states.

Intellectual Property Watch: Intellectual Property Watch, a non-profit independent news service, reports on the interests and behind-the-scenes dynamics that influence the design and implementation of international intellectual property policies.

American Intellectual Property Law Association: An association with the goal of expanding the goals of intellectual property through advocacy, public education, member support, and global outreach.

ABA Section of Intellectual Property: the ABA section to advance the development of intellectual property laws, and their fair and just administration. As the forum for rich perspectives and balanced insight on the full spectrum of IP law, the Section serves as the ABA voice