Intellectual Property: Inventors, Entrepreneurs, Creators

Develop a working knowledge of the basics of patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets
Rating: 4.4 out of 5 (554 ratings)
15,135 students
Intellectual Property: Inventors, Entrepreneurs, Creators
Rating: 4.4 out of 5 (554 ratings)
15,135 students
Explain the basics of intellectual property policies.
Understand how intellectual property protections benefit individual creators, business owners, and entrepreneurs.
Describe the relationship between intellectual property protection and economic growth.
Discuss the historical origins of intellectual property law in the United States.


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Intellectual Property: Inventors, Entrepreneurs, Creators

Protecting innovations and creative work is more crucial than ever in today’s Knowledge Economy. “Intellectual Property: Inventors, Entrepreneurs, Creators” teaches the basics of IP to ordinary citizens, making IP accessible to everyone, not just lawyers and CEOs.

Why is Intellectual Property Important?

IP has grown from a narrowly specialized legal field into a major force in American social and economic life today. Today, IP comprises an astonishing 38 percent of total U.S. GDP, and represents 80 percent of the market value of all publicly-traded companies in the U.S.

Indeed, IP has become the new watchword in almost any career. Look around and you’ll see IP’s imprint everywhere. From Silicon Valley startups to Fortune 500 board rooms, from MIT engineering labs to Wall Street trading desks, and from college business seminars to debates in Congress over global trade policy, IP issues now lie at the heart of almost every arena of modern life today.

As a result, any person today who does not understand at least the basics of intellectual property — and its value and role in science, business, arts, and the professions — will find him or herself at a distinct disadvantage in the world of tomorrow.

Why Take the Course?

If you are an innovator, entrepreneur, or creator of any kind,  this course will equip you with the necessary knowledge to protect and capitalize on your intellectual property (IP).

  • Patents: How do exclusive rights to your inventions benefit you and society? Find out what’s patentable, what’s not, and how to navigate the patent system successfully.

  • Copyrights: Learn how you can protect a wide variety of artistic and intellectual works. What’s Fair Use – and what’s not?

  • Trademarks: Why are trademarked words, names, and symbols so valuable – and how can you protect them?

  • Trade Secrets: Do you have to publicly disclose your creation to gain legal protection?

Written by Experts

“Intellectual Property: Inventors, Entrepreneurs, Creators” is based on The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property’s IP textbook The Intangible Advantage: Understanding Intellectual Property in the New Economy. Authored by Pulitzer Prize-nominated intellectual property expert David Kline, with former Undersecretary of Commerce and Director of the Patent Office David Kappos serving as executive editor.

Learn More

To get the most out of this course, download The Intangible Advantage on the MichelsonIP website, where you’ll find the text-only version of the book along with an interactive eBook with built-in learning assessment tools (available in iBooks). You can also access our short animated video series on YouTube, answering the most frequently asked IP questions.

This course is presented by The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property, an initiative of The Michelson 20MM Foundation, in partnership with The Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation. Michelson 20MM and its initiatives are made possible by the generous support of Dr. Gary Karlin Michelson and his wife, Alya Michelson.

Who this course is for:
  • The content in this course is appropriate for everyone ages 15 years and up.
  • Innovators: Inventors, artists, startup founders, investors, researchers, and anyone else in the innovation ecosystem — learn how you can, and why you should, protect your creations.
  • Legal Professionals: Attorneys, licensing and technology transfer professionals — learn how you can use this resource to help your clients, students, or your overall brand in the competitive world of intellectual property.
  • Educators: Teachers and professors — prepare your students for the new economy and the role intellectual property will play in their future careers.
Course content
12 sections • 38 lectures • 3h 33m total length
  • The Foundations of Patent Protection
  • The History of Patents
  • America’s Uniquely-Democratic Patent System
  • Patent Law & Litigation
  • The Patent System and U.S. Economic Growth
  • Patents: Introduction and Basics
    15 questions
  • Criteria for Patenting
  • The Debate Over Software Patents
  • Other Types of Patents
  • Applying for a Patent
  • Patents: Eligibility and Criteria
    12 questions
  • Enforcing Patent Rights
  • Taking Claims to Court
  • Defending Your Patent in Court
  • The Patent Infringement Trial
  • Mediation and Arbitration
  • The Rise of Patent Trolls
  • Patents: Defending and Enforcing
    13 questions
  • Copyright Introduction and Basics
  • Problems with Early Copyright Systems
  • Copyright: Introduction and Basics
    12 questions
  • Copyright in the Courts
  • Works Eligible for Copyright
  • Work for Hire, First-Sale, and Moral Rights
  • Copyrights: Eligibility and Limitations
    9 questions
  • Copyright Law Adapts to New Technology
  • Digital Works and Copyright Challenges
  • Alternatives to Traditional Copyright
  • Copyright: Copyright in the Internet Age
    5 questions
  • Early Trademark Systems
  • The Economic and Legal Value of Trademarks
  • Trademark Law in the United States
  • Trademark: Introduction and History
    12 questions
  • Four Types of Trademarks
  • Trademark Subject Matter
  • Spectrum of Distinctiveness
  • Bars to Trademark Registration
  • Trademark: Eligibility and Application
    10 questions
  • Benefits of Establishing Trademark Protection
  • Infringement and Remedies
  • Fair Use and Trademarks
  • Trademark: Defending and Enforcing
    6 questions
  • Trade Secrets and Protection
  • Trade Secrets: Introduction and History
    8 questions

Addressing Critical Gaps in Intellectual Property Education
The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property
  • 4.4 Instructor Rating
  • 554 Reviews
  • 15,135 Students
  • 1 Course

The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property, an initiative of the Michelson 20MM Foundation, addresses critical gaps in intellectual property education to empower the next generation of inventors. Michelson 20MM was founded thanks to the generous support of renowned spinal surgeon Dr. Gary K. Michelson and his wife, Alya Michelson.