Intellectual property

Literacy Discussion

The Learning Activity “Intellectual Property” discusses the meaning and importance of protecting intellectual property. What is one thing mentioned in the reading that can be copyright protected? Next, provide an example of something not mentioned in the reading that can be copyright protected and explain why. Then, provide one example of something that a patent might protect. Please explain why it would be protected and provide examples from the reading to support your response.

Intellectual Property


Students must be aware of intellectual property rights and usage restrictions. In this section, you will learn multiple intellectual property terms and the usage implications of each.

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It is important to consider the legal aspects of determining use of another’s ideas or information. Intellectual property is defined by the American Intellectual Property Law Association as work “that results from the fruits of mental labor” (2014). Federal patent, trademark, and copyright laws promote the rights and protections for intellectual property owners. According to AIPLA, “Patents protect inventions of tangible things; copyrights protect various forms of written and artistic expression; and trademarks protect a name or symbol that identifies the source of goods or services” (2014).

Property rights and protections are provided under the Fair Use clause of U.S. copyright law. Understanding the following definition of copyright is central to this lesson’s objective. “Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U.S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works (U.S. Copyright Office, 2008). With new digital content emerging constantly, it is important to keep abreast of copyright issues.

Copyright and plagiarism are just two aspects of intellectual property that you need to consider every time you are dealing with attributing information, data, or creative works to another (Bobish & Jacobson, 2014). You must also be mindful of open access issues, which relate to valuable research data and academic online publications. There are two important things to note: you often need to ask the author for permission, and many open access publications use Creative Commons licensing (Bobish & Jacobson, 2014).

In each discipline, there are various issues of ownership to consider. For example, in science and technology-related fields, it is necessary to learn how patents work. Patents cover the rights to invention of new machinery or processes, and plants can also be patented (U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office, 2014). If you would like more information on copyright ownership, the United States Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO) offers extensive information. It is important to protect your own intellectual property as well as that of others.

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Answer preview

Patent protection means that someone’s invention cannot be commercially used, sold, distributed, or imported without the patent owner’s consent. A patent protects new, valuable, and innovative creations, such as solving a problem (Maskus, Milani, & Neumann, 2019). For instance, a patent can protect an invented way of performing things such as a new way of separating sugar and salt instead of the normal solubility, density, and use of crystal shape.

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Intellectual property