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 founded in 2016 and dedicated to raising awareness of the effect of  inventions, creative works like music, movies and books, and brand names.

CIPU makes IP rights more intelligible by providing information, holding events and encouraging discussion between IP users and owners. It helps people to connect the dots between why rights like patents, copyrights and trademarks exist, how they work and how they impact peoples’ lives.

CIPU also provides a framework for broader understanding IP’s role in facilitating new ideas, competition and jobs.  A summary of recent CIPU accomplishments and contributors can be found here.   



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 the program, presenters and partners, visit


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.