Published by the Michelson 20MM Foundation and made possible by the generous support of Gary and Alya Michelson.
The Intangible Advantage: Understanding Intellectual Property in the New Economy is the first-ever IP textbook for ordinary citizens (especially college students). Written by Pulitzer Prize-nominated intellectual property expert David Kline, with former Undersecretary of Commerce and Director of the Patent Office David Kappos serving as executive editor, this book is accompanied by an interactive ebook with learning assessment tools (available in the iBooks Store), and a series of short animated videos on various intellectual property topics (available on YouTube). This is the text only version of the book.
The Intangible Advantage fills a great need in American education. Until now, intellectual property has been taught only in law schools or the occasional business school seminar. But in today’s knowledge economy, this is no longer sufficient. Over the last 40 years, intellectual property has grown from an arcane, narrowly-specialized legal field into a major force in American social and economic life. It comprises an astonishing 45 percent of total U.S. GDP today, and represents 80 percent of the market value of all publicly-traded companies in the U.S.
Indeed, intellectual property has become the new watchword in almost any career today. Look around and you’ll see IP’s imprint everywhere. From Silicon Valley startups to Fortune 500 board rooms, from MIT engineering labs to Wall Street trading desks, and from college business seminars to debates in Congress over global trade policy, intellectual property issues now lie at the heart of almost every arena of modern life today.
As a result, any young person today who does not understand at least the basics of intellectual property — and its value and role in science, business, arts, and the professions — will find him or herself at a distinct disadvantage in the world of tomorrow.