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Incorporating Intellectual Property Into Engineering Education

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.686.1 - 8.686.12



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Paper Authors

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John Kaplan

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Kathleen Kaplan

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2793

Session Multimedia 2793

Incorporating Intellectual Property into Engineering Education

Kathleen M. Kaplan, D.Sc., Lt Col John J. Kaplan (Ph.D., J.D.) USAF

Howard University/USAF


Engineering education is not addressing one of the most important areas of the engineering professional: Intellectual Property. Intellectual Property (IP) encompasses the intangible “stuff” which is what engineering is all about – original thought, invention, and progress. The three traditional areas of IP are copyrights, trademarks, and patents. An engineer cannot protect his or her interest, whether it be an invention, expression of idea, or some other non-tangible property, without understanding these three IP areas. Engineering educators should understand that IP has not been incorporated into the discipline. Educators should also note that by the lack of IP instruction, engineering graduates are ignorant as to the protection of their creations. This impacts their futures as they will be entering the creative field of engineering without IP knowledge and may not protect their rights. Of course, this does not help the student or the progression of engineering. This paper, written by a patent agent and patent attorney, both holding doctorate degrees in computer science and electrical engineering, respectively, will introduce the basic concepts of intellectual property and show ways to introduce IP into an engineering curriculum.


Intellectual Property (IP) is rarely, if ever, included in engineering education. This is unpropitious as basic IP knowledge by engineers is important to help protect IP rights. Furthermore, IP searches provide an accurate picture of the growth of the engineering fields. Intellectual Property includes three traditional areas: copyrights, trademarks, and patents. Two of these areas, copyrights and patents, are incorporated in the U.S. Constitution to advance science and the arts. As will be discussed, IP is also important to further the advancement of engineering. Please note that the laws, rules and cases associated with IP are constantly changing and some information presented may be outdated prior to publication. Furthermore, this article covers only IP basics; therefore, the authors advise contacting an IP professional in order to properly protect IP rights.

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright© 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Kaplan, J., & Kaplan, K. (2003, June), Incorporating Intellectual Property Into Engineering Education Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12490

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