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Intellectual Property  

Patents, copyright and trademarks.
Last Updated: Mar 8, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Library IP Resources

The Law Library has several print resources on intellectual property topics. Try the catalog for further resources.



The purpose of this LibGuide is to help you find information about intellectual property. Intellectual property is divided into multiple subjects: patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets, and the tab for each topic contains links to important legislation, case reporters, treatises and other resources on that topic. The 'Home' tab contains several general intellectual property resources.

Patents protect new inventions and grant the exclusive right to exploit the new invention to the patent holder. In order to obtain a patent an invention must be useful, novel and non-obvious. Patents must be registered with the patent and trademark office. The invention submitted for patent is subject to a rigorous evaluation and a description of the invention must be submitted.

Copyright protects literary works by granting a set of exclusive rights to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work. Copyright protects the expression of ideas, not the ideas themselves.

Trademarks are marks associated with goods or services that serve to identify the source of those goods or services to consumers. Trademark law prohibits competitors from using the same mark on their goods or marks that are confusingly similar. The goal of trademark protection is twofold: to prevent consumer confusion, and to protect a seller's interest in protecting the goodwill it has accrued for its products.

Trade secrets refer to valuable information a business has acquired and wishes to keep secret from its competitors. If a business has been reasonably vigilant in protecting this information then courts will not allow competitors to benefit from using underhanded means to acquire the information.

General IP Databases and Resources

Databases and research tools related to intellectual property. Unless otherwise noted, all resources are restricted to users affiliated with UIUC and will require you to log in with your netID if accessing the resources from a non-university computer.

  • Intellectual Property on Intelliconnect
    News, current developments, reporters, practice guides, and indexes on intellectual property topics.
  • Hein Online: Intellectual Property Journals and Law Collection
    Legislative histories of IP laws, IP-specific publications, US Code sections and federal regulations, e-books on IP subjects, trademark and patent examining procedure manuals, and more. Choose "Intellectual Property Law Collection" or "Intellectual Property Law Journals" from list of subscribed libraries.
  • BNA: Intellectual Property Law Resource Center
    News, cases, laws, and other resources on all aspects of intellectual property law.
  • BNA: Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law Daily
    Concise yet comprehensive news of the most important intellectual property cases, regulatory developments, and trends, on a daily basis.
  • BNA: Patent, Trademark and Copyright Journal
    Comprehensive news of the most important intellectual property cases, statutes, trends, and other key developments in all areas of the law, published weekly. Slightly more in-depth than the Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law Daily news.
  • BNA: World Intellectual Property Report
    Provides monthly news and analysis of developments in the regulation and enforcement of intellectual property rights worldwide.
  • BNA: World Communications Regulation Report
    Provides details of international regulation of communication technologies giving an insight into the latest legal developments relating to issues such as electronic signatures, data privacy, Internet governance, domain names, technological protection measures to prevent copying or file sharing, broadcasting.

Intellectual Property Quick Links

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The University of Illinois Law Library provides these Web pages as a service to our users and they are not intended to be taken as legal or non-legal advice on any subject. The legal information provided in this website is for general reference only, and should not be relied upon for legal purposes. You should always consult a lawyer to determine your legal rights.


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