Intellectual Property

With the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

How do you protect your ideas and inventions? A continued demand for patents and trademarks in our highly connected world is making intellectual property a concept that inventors and makers are coming to know around the globe. However, there are limited symbols that exist that notify a viewer that a product, service, or idea is someone’s intellectual property. Finding ways to visually place a mark on intellectual property is a challenge that we are excited to have tackled with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Each year the USPTO, an advisory of the federal government, works to protect new ideas and investments in innovation and creativity. It’s at the cutting edge of the nation’s technological progress and achievement as all patents and trademarks are passed through its doors. Together, we hosted an Iconathon to create symbols that will help people identify concepts around intellectual property. Our public design workshop brought together IP experts, designers, and local community members to hack at a collection of 19 concepts and sketch visual concepts. Examples include trade secret, service mark, infringement, and various types of inventors and patents.

The icons are now in the public domain and available for free download on Noun Project. The icons created from this Iconathon will be used on the USPTO website with the goal of ideally being used around the world to denote various concepts around intellectual property. Thanks to the USPTO and our civic minded volunteers who gave their time, enthusiasm, and creativity into creating these amazing symbols!

View and download the full collection here.

Photo credit: Jay Premack / USPTO

Originally published at on August 24, 2017.