Building a Strong
Foundation for New Ideas

What is intellectual property? Why should I care?

The Center for Intellectual Property Understanding (CIPU) is an independent, non-profit organization the helps to raise awareness of intellectual property rights and how they impact people’s lives.

CIPU makes IP rights more intelligible by showing what they accomplish, holding events and encouraging discussion between IP users and owners. The organization makes it easier for people to connect the dots between why rights like patents, copyrights and trademarks (and trade secrets) exist, how they work and who they ultimately effect.

Founded in 2016, CIPU provides a framework for understanding IP rights’ role in establishing inventions, creative works like music movies and books and brands. CIPU also examines how IP promotes competition and jobs.  A summary of recent CIPU accomplishments and contributors can be found here.


Summary PDF Flyer  

Recent Developments:

Latest CIPU Report – “IP Awareness and Attitudes: A Summary of Research and Data”
April 2019

A summary of research and surveys focusing on IP awareness and attitudes conducted over the past decade in the U.S., Europe, and Asia reveals a growing disconnect between consumers intellectual property awareness and behaviors.

For the full report click here

Second IP Awareness Summit – “IP Literacy in a Digital World”

The recent IP Awareness Summit was hosted by CIPU in conjunction with Columbia Technology Ventures at the Columbia School of Journalism. It included four keynote speakers, including USPTO Director Andrei Iancu, 17 topic speakers, four panels, three breakout sessions and 120 participants.

For the program, presenters and partners, visit

Two-Minute CIPU Annimation – “What is IP? Why Should I care”
April 2019



IP Understanding Matters

Ideas are the primary value-driver for business today. Yet the rights that protect inventions, recorded music, books, branded goods and other creative works are regarded by many as obstacles.

The mission of the Center for Intellectual Property Understanding (CIPU) is help the public, government business to understand how IP rights affect peoples’ lives, and why they need to be taken seriously.