Educators and youth can help reduce the growing prevalence of copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting, in both the online and hard goods environments, by learning about intellectual property rights and spreading the word that respecting intellectual property rights is in everyone’s interest. There are lots of great materials to get you started.
The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) hosts a comprehensive, research-based public awareness campaign against intellectual property (IP) theft.
The Global Intellectual Property Center, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has supported educational campaigns showing youth how IP is used throughout a kitchen (click here for pdf version) and many interesting documentaries including a campaign alerting consumers to dangerous fakes. The Center also publishes an annual International IP report that evaluates and ranks the IP environments in countries and economies representing nearly 80% of world GDP based on 30 indicators in six categories. The 2015 Index also includes an annex with data on the correlation between a robust IP environment and certain socio-economic development factors. By correlating the GIPC Index scores with a number of additional variables, this annex documents the economic benefits of strengthening IP protection, and provides further insight into the role and impact of IP rights on building innovative economies.
The First Lego League has created a brief guide to applying for a patent and encourages its innovators to learn about patents. Some of the young innovators have received patents for their award-winning designs.
Many U.S. schools and universities have honor codes that increasingly include explicit reference to intellectual property. Educators and students may wish to consider adding intellectual property to their school’s honor code.
The School for Ethical Education (SEE) has an honor policy that is an adapted synthesis of policies from websites or handbooks of twelve high schools; it addresses plagiarism and intellectual property on pages 12-17 of the hyperlinked document.
George Mason University’s honor code includes an explanation of plagiarism, copyright and the internet.
In 2011, the U.S. Air Force Academy added a section on intellectual property rights to its Honor Code - Appendix B (page 19 of the document).
One of the keys to successfully protecting intellectual property is knowledge about intellectual property -- what it is, who owns it, how it is protected, and how it should be protected in various settings. With respect to university settings, the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) (Pub. L. No. 110-315) requires schools to take certain steps to implement a copyright policy. Following are links to IP policies in a college setting and a research lab. The papers clearly define roles and responsibilities and establish procedures for defining ownership of IP when that ownership is not immediately clear.
Carnegie Mellon has a good description and an example of implementation of HEOA.
See a sample IP policy and contract language from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).
Bowdoin College’s IP policies appear in its student handbook.
Columbia College has an Academic Integrity Pledge that asks students to pledge to uphold a high level of academic integrity, to respect others’ intellectual property, and to be honest in their academic work.
A paper on IP targeting graduate students doing research in laboratories, posted by the Online Ethics Center (OEC), which is maintained by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), helps research students understand their responsibilities with regard to IP.
The U.S. Department of State does not specifically endorse organizations, associations, or businesses. Any and all links to websites outside the U.S. Government are strictly for information purposes only.