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Intellectual Property

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, intellectual property refers to "creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce. Intellectual property is divided into two categories: Industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source; and Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs.”

Copyright, patent, and trademark laws, treaties, and agreements throughout the world protect the intellectual property of both individuals and corporations. The growth of the Internet, the development of software, and even genetic engineering has greatly complicated this area of law. The online resources below can help you understand this complex topic.

Internet Resources

Copyright Clearance Center
Home page of the largest licenser of text reproduction rights in the world. Designed specifically to facilitate and encourage compliance with U.S. copyright law.

Copyright Registration Procedures
Wondering how to register a document, video, or drawing so that your intellectual property rights are protected? The Library of Congress has helped you out by making all the forms available from this page.

Copyright, Intellectual Property Rights, and Licensing Issues
Very good current awareness site from the University of California at Berkeley. Also includes links to laws, policies, and court opinions.

LIBLICENSE: Licensing Digital Information
Maintained by the Yale University Library Council on Library and Information Resources, this site contains general copyright links as well as license vocabulary, licensing terms and descriptions, publishers’ licenses, and much more.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Home page of the United Nations agency dedicated to promoting the use and protection of works of the human spirit. Includes access to the Collection of Laws for Electronic Access (CLEA) database, as well as many other resources regarding the protection of patent rights, print copyrights, and new technologies.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the Health Learning Center at 312-926-5465 or HLC@nmh.org.


Last UpdateDecember 2, 2011