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Browse Stanford's available technologies by keyword or collection today by exploring our Techfinder Catalog.

Below you can find more information on the types of Intellectual Property (IP) Stanford OTL handles.

Intellectual Property Basics

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Types of IP

Depending on the technology disclosed, one or more of the following types of intellectual property could potentially be licensed by OTL.


A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted for a limited period of time in exchange for a disclosure of an invention. Patentable inventions must be new, useful and non-obvious.


Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to the authors of “original works of authorship.” This includes, literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works as well as computer software.


Original software code falls under the rubric of copyrighted intellectual property. In general, the copyright owner of software has the exclusive right to reproduce (copy) the software, prepare derivative works, distribute copies by sale or otherwise. At Stanford, software distribution and licensing can be handled in many ways, and very much depends on input from the creators. 

Tangible Research Property (TRP)

TRP is generally used for biological materials, engineering drawings, computer software, integrated circuit chips, computer databases, prototype devices, circuit diagrams, equipment and associated research data.


A trademark can be any word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination of these things that identifies your goods or services.

Trademarks are not licensed by OTL. For information on Stanford's Trademark Licensing Program, please contact the Director of Business Development or call (650) 723-3331. More information is available on the website: Guidelines for Use of Stanford Trademarks.

Inventor FAQs

See our frequently asked questions for inventors to learn more about inventorship and IP.