Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to our most commonly asked questions below.

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property (IP) is a term that encompasses all forms of creativity that are protected either under statutes or by common law.  Included are inventions, discoveries, know-how, processes, unique materials, copyrightable works, and original data.  IP also includes the physical embodiment of intellectual effort.

What is a Provisional Patent?

A provisional application for patent is a U.S. national application for patent filed in the USPTO under 35 USC § 111(b); allows filing without a formal patent claim, oath, declaration, or any information disclosure (prior art) statement.

What is a PCT?

The Patent Cooperation Treaty is an international treaty that allows an applicant who meets certain requirements to file a single patent application to protect an invention in more than 112 contracting states.

What is an Invention?

An invention is a novel and useful idea resulting from study and experiment and may relate to a process, machine, article of manufacture, composition of matter, or any improvement thereof.

What is the Bayh-Dole Act?

It is a guide intended to inform the public about the Patent and Trademark Law Amendment Act of 1980. The National Institution of Health has detailed information on the Bayh-Dole Act. For a more complete summary, visit the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) website.