The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has launched a new intellectual property curriculum.
The agency said the program was designed with i-SAFE to inspire students' creativity and teach the value of patents, trademarks, and copyrights. The intellectual property unit is interactive and targets elementary, middle, and high school students.
"If you own something that is valuable, you want to protect it," Jon Dudas, undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the Patent Office, said in a news announcement. "Since U.S. intellectual property today is worth more than $5 trillion, it is important that future inventors understand the process of protecting intellectual property, and that we instill an innovative spirit among students to keep the flow of innovation alive."
The intellectual property curriculum aims to inspire with stories about young inventors, provide hands-on experience searching for patents and trademarks, and encourage students to apply life skills and experiences to the lessons.
I-SAFE trains and certifies educators to teach the curriculum through the i-LEARN online video training modules. The curriculum on intellectual property is one of more than 175 free lesson plans available and can be used in all 50 states.
It is part of a broader effort within the Patent Office to improve public outreach and education on intellectual property issues.
The agency has worked with the Ad Council for a three-year public-service announcement campaign designed to encourage creativity and inventiveness. That campaign targets "tweens," or those between the ages of 8 and 11. The campaign airs ads on television and radio. It also includes a Web site with games and activities designed to inspire creativity and respect for intellectual property.