TAKEAWAY: The USPTO’s new IP Identifier Tool provides users with an interactive primer on different forms of IP relevant to their needs and an introduction into protection of that IP.

On January 18, 2023, the USPTO announced the launch of a new Intellectual Property (IP) Identifier Tool, also referred to as the IP Identifier, which is an interactive virtual resource designed to provide users with information tailed to their situation. Users can respond to a series of questions to identify whether they have IP in the form of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and/or trade secrets, and can gain a basic understanding of that IP and the associated protections available.

The IP Identifier currently includes two modules: the Basic IP Identifier and the Advanced IP Identifier. The Basic IP Identifier prompts users to answer six questions to assess the type of IP they should protect. The Advanced IP Identifier guides users through a questionnaire for each type of IP of interest to provide them with further explanation and links to additional resources, such as how to file a patent application. A third module, Tips for Managing your IP Assets, is under development.

The IP Identifier was announced as part of the USPTO’s Women’s Entrepreneurship (WE) initiative launched in November 2022. The USPTO describes WE as “a community-focused, collaborative, and creative initiative to inspire women and tap their potential to meaningfully increase equity, job creation, and economic prosperity.” The IP Identifier is, however, available to any member of the public and is particularly recommended for use by any innovator, entrepreneur, or creator considering starting a business or trying to grow one.