The Smart Cities-Smart Futures Contest organizers take the issue of entry confidentiality seriously and take great steps to protect participants’ intellectual property.
All intellectual property used in business concepts and/or plans is the sole responsibility of the contestant and/or the tech transfer organization associated with the university or college. If you have any questions regarding IP, please contact your local university technology transfer office.
Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect, inventions, and primarily encompasses copyrights, patents and trademarks. It also includes other types of rights, such as trade secrets, publicity rights, moral rights, and rights against unfair competition.
Intellectual property law deals with the rules for securing and enforcing legal rights to inventions, designs, and artistic works. Just as the law protects ownership of personal property and real estate, so too does it protect the exclusive control of intangible assets.
IP covers everything from original plays and novels to inventions and company identification marks. The purpose of intellectual property laws are to encourage new technologies, artistic expressions and inventions while promoting economic growth.
Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions; literary and artistic works; and symbols, names and images used in commerce. Intellectual property is divided into two categories: Industrial Property includes patents for inventions, trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications.
There are two types of patents:
– Utility patents: For tangible inventions, such as machines, devices, and composite materials, as well as new and useful processes.
– Design patents: For the ornamental designs on manufactured products. Plant patents: For new varieties of plants.
What can and cannot be patented? Under U.S. patent law, any person who “invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent.” … The invention must be novel. The invention must have some utility or usefulness. The invention must not be obvious.
What qualifies for a patent? In order for your invention to qualify for patent eligibility, it must cover subject matter that Congress has defined as patentable. The USPTO defines patentable subject matter as any “new and useful” process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter. … The invention must be “novel,” or new.
What rights does a patent owner have? Once a patent expires, the protection ends, and an invention enters the public domain; that is, anyone can commercially exploit the invention without infringing the patent. 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.
– Literary works
– Musical works, including any accompanying words
– Dramatic works, including any accompanying music
– Pantomimes and choreographic works
– Pictorial, graphic and sculptural works
– Motion pictures and other audiovisual works
– Sound recordings
– Architectural plans, drawings and actual buildings
Can ideas be copyrighted? Copyrights protect expression and patents protects inventions, and neither protect ideas. In both cases the idea is the first critical step, but without some identifiable embodiment of the idea there can be no intellectual property protection obtained and no exclusive rights will flow unto you.
Can you sell an idea to a company without a patent? Because of this, many companies will not purchase the rights to an idea or invention unless they know it is patent protected and no one else can sell the same invention. Obtaining a patent can be very expensive and time consuming, but there are ways that you can sell your idea or invention without a patent.