Intellectual Property: A Guide for UC Berkeley Graduate Students

Intellectual property (IP) is any creation of a person’s mind. IP includes inventions, artistic or scholarly works and symbols. In the United States, intellectual property is protected through laws, customs and personal discretion. See the sidebar to the right for a list of examples of intellectual property.

As a graduate student at UC Berkeley, you’ll be using others’ intellectual property and creating your own as well. It’s important, therefore, that you learn to recognize intellectual property  and potential intellectual property  and that you know your rights and responsibilities as they pertain to IP. 

There are four types of intellectual property and different laws that protect each type. Click on the links below to learn more about each type.

Examples of intellectual property

  • Inventions

  • Writing such as research papers, journal articles, newspaper pieces, poetry and books

  • Computer code and programs

  • Architectural plans

  • Works of art such as pieces of music, films, paintings or sculptures

  • Symbols, logos and slogans for an organization or company

  • Business processes

  • Restaurant recipes

  • Formulas for products

  • Manufacturing techniques