State of California Intellectual Property
Intellectual property (IP) is a legal term that refers to creations of the mind, including an idea, invention or process. Common examples include software, discoveries, words, phrases, symbols, designs and logos. Original written works are considered IP because they are subject to copyright. The four main types of IP are copyrights, patents, trademarks and service marks, and trade secrets.
In response to two BSA audits, the California Legislature determined that state agencies and departments were not doing enough to manage and protect potentially valuable intellectual property resources. Consequently, the Legislature adopted a statutory scheme that created the State of California’s first IP program.
As of 2012, DGS was given the authority to help state agencies and departments manage and protect their intellectual property assets. Not only is it the law, but appropriately managing intellectual property benefits governmental entities and helps avoid unnecessary legal battles associated with the improper use of IP.
A critical element of this statutory program is the establishment of a database that tracks the various forms of IP owned by state agencies and departments. This database includes information about the nature and extent of state-owned IP assets.
In an effort to achieve full transparency, this database allows members of the public to review state IP holdings by type of IP, state agency, funding sources, and similar critical information. Members of the public can generate a variety of reports from this database, which will be regularly updated by DGS-OLS staff. Visitors to the DGS IP web portal are encouraged to view the database in order to obtain important information about state-owned intellectual property.
This intellectual property database is not intended to be exhaustive. A failure to list an IP resource in the database does not constitute a waiver of the State of California’s ownership of any intellectual property asset.
Business and Professions Code section 17533.6(a) provides: “[I]t is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, or association that is a nongovernmental entity to use a seal, emblem, insignia, trade or brand name, or any other term, symbol, or content that reasonably could be interpreted or construed as implying any federal, state, or local government, military veteran entity, or military or veteran service organization connection, approval, or endorsement of any product or service, including, but not limited to, any financial product, goods, or services, by any means, including, but not limited to, a mailing, electronic message, Internet Web site, periodical, or television commercial disseminated in this state…” Learn more…