Intellectual Property Primer

The U.S. government and governments worldwide offer several different types of protection for what is known as "intellectual property" — the fruit of the ideas of inventors, authors, artists, plant breeders and others. Depending on the nature of the property, protection may take the form of a patent, copyright, trademark or one of several forms of plant variety protection.

In most cases, WARF protects intellectual property with patents, plant variety registration and copyrights because much of the intellectual property brought to WARF by UW–Madison inventors is best protected in these ways. Intellectual property also includes trademarks, trade secrets, biological materials and know-how.