Madeline Decker is a rising sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania and an associate editor of the Penn Undergraduate Law Journal.
With a rise in breakthrough technologies and innovations, companies are working harder than ever to protect their products from their competitors. There has been a renewed realization of the importance of patents and the invaluable protection they provide. From small business owners to large corporations, understanding intellectual property “is more critical than ever,” according to Darren Dahl of the New York Times. 
Cornell Law School defines intellectual property (I.P.) as “any product of the human intellect that the law protects from unauthorized use by others.”  This definition serves as an umbrella term for many different categories ranging from patents to trade secrets. The United States Patent and Trademark Offices “regulates patents and copyrights from the ‘intellectual property clause’ of the Constitution,” ensuring that an individual’s intellectual property is protected . Additionally, the United States Constitution protects the intellectual properties and discoveries of individuals within Section 8 of Article I, which states that the government can “promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing … to authors and inventors the exclusive rights to their respective writings and discoveries.”