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Patents 101

What is a patent, and why is it useful?

Follow this short course to learn about what can be patented, the benefits of patenting your research and more. Click to get started or select a specific topic in the menu to the left.

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Can I Patent That?

You can’t patent an idea (like an idea for a better mousetrap), only an application of that idea in a practical invention. Novelty, utility, and non-obviousness — the holy trinity of patents.

A Patent System for Everyone

America’s Uniquely-Democratic Patent System: Why America developed the world’s first patent system for the common man, and what we got out of it as a result (hint: the strongest economy on the face of the earth).

Do Patents Really Promote Innovation?

How ironic that a system for granting exclusive rights to inventors is the greatest vehicle for knowledge-sharing and technology transfer ever devised by human beings.

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