Intellectual property (IP) is legal property rights over creations of the mind—both artistic and commercial. Under intellectual property law, owners are granted exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as ideas, discoveries and inventions.

Common types of IP include patents, copyrights, and trademarks.

TIDO primarily protects Boston Children’s inventions and technologies through patens. A patent grants the inventor a right to prohibit others from making, using, selling, or offering for sale the subject matter claimed in the patent, in the country where the patent was issued for a set period of time.

As part of the employment terms at Boston Children’s Hospital, inventors assign their rights of the invention to Boston Children’s Hospital. The Bayh-Dole Act gives universities, research hospitals and academic institutions the ability to retain ownership of inventions made as a result of federally funded research.

IP protection is often necessary to bring Boston Children’s Hospital inventions and discoveries to the public. Venture capitalists, investors and medical device, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies desire protection before investing the significant required to translate discoveries into products and to keep competitors from creating the same products.