Intellectual Property is defined as property that derives from the work of an individual's mind or intellect. It can be transferred to others through a license. While ideas, per se, are not intellectual property and not protectable from use by others, once reduced to practice or tangibly expressed, they become intellectual property, protectable by patents, copyrights trademarks, and trade secret laws.
To be patentable, an invention is limited to the discovery or creation of a new material (either new manufactured product, a new composition of matter, or a genetically engineered product), a new process, a new use for an existing material, or an improvement of any of these. In certain circumstances, computer software is also considered a patentable invention.
The Ames Laboratory has a history of successful IP activity. The following chart shows the number of disclosures, patent applications, and issued patents over the past eight fiscal years:
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If you have further questions, please view our Frequently Asked Questions or contact Stacy Joiner and Beth Pieper.