Why Intellectual Property is Essential to STEM Education

The Importance of Intellectual Property

Because intellectual property (IP) gives individuals and companies the protection and incentive to transform their ideas into inventions, it is an essential part of the innovative process. Unfortunately, due to the subject’s perceived complexity, rarely is it taught in schools. This is a mistake, as a quality STEM education must address these important skills in order to best prepare students for the future. It is not enough to simply teach our future innovators how to code, design and invent; they must also learn how to protect what they create.

This paper explains why IP is an essential part of STEM education and explores how these protections were crucial to the to the very foundation of the United States.

Highlights include:

  • The risks of failing to correctly patent an invention, as discussed by National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductee Gordon Gould, inventor of the optical laser.
  • The story of how the United States’ revolutionary patent system helped transform a fledgling nation into a world economic power.
  • An explanation of why IP is important, how it’s applied and why STEM education is incomplete without it.  

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