Skip to main content

Intellectual Property Topics: Intellectual Property (IP): The Basics

A research guide on various intellectual property topics from West Chester University Libraries. Subjects include copyright and fair use, orphan works, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets.

What is intellectual property (IP)?

Check out the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for detailed information on the various types of IP.

Please note that intellectual property topics often build upon and link to each other. A knowledge of fair use, for example, aids in understanding copyright. Learning the similarities and differences between these concepts makes intellectual property a lot less intimidating!

IP in the News!

This RSS feed will update with daily news on relevant IP topics.


What is in this guide?

You can use the drop-down option under the Basics tab for an introduction to resources on the following topics:

  • Copyright
  • Fair Use
  • Orphan Works
  • Patents
  • Public Domain
  • Trademarks/Trade Secrets

The main tabs are separated into specific resources for WCU students, tools for administration and faculty, and finally some cultural perspectives.

The main page for Coyright information can be accessed via the WCU Copyright -

If you have any questions or need assistance, contact Stephen Marvin.

Understandng IP is an extensive collection of resources provided by the government. The information contained within these training modules relates to:

  • Copyright
  • Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Trade Secrets and Undisclosed Information

These modules are self-guided and can be completed either online or via PDF. is an excellent starting point for any user looking to gain a better understanding of IP.

Subject Guide

Stephen Marvin's picture
Stephen Marvin
FH Green Library, Room 205

(610) 436-1068
Website / Blog Page


You are welcome to send suggestions! 

See also the WCU Copyright -

or the Campus Copyright blog -  

For help with questions concerning copyright, contact:

Stephen Marvin, Campus Copyright Coordinator   
FH Green Library, Room 205
ph: 610.436.1068

West Chester University   ---    WCU Libraries  25 West Rosedale Avenue, West Chester, PA 19383  610-430-4400