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Making IP Education More Accessible: Leading Publisher OpenStax Adds Introduction to Intellectual Property to Digital Library

·3-min read

Introduction to Intellectual Property is now available through OpenStax, the leading publisher of free, open educational resource (OER) textbooks. As a part of the Rice University-based publisher's business catalog, the digital textbook will provide additional value and support to undergraduate business, entrepreneurship, and STEM education--at no cost to faculty or students.

"Today's students are inspired to pursue their ideas for innovations, and understanding intellectual property will be a tremendous asset for them," said Professor Sal Veas, Santa Monica College business department chair. "As an open educational resource, Introduction to Intellectual Property is freely accessible to all students, regardless of economic status."

The textbook, published initially as The Intangible Advantage: Understanding Intellectual Property in the New Economy by the Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property (Michelson IP), addresses fundamental intellectual property subject matter, including patents, trademarks, copyright, and trade secrets. It was written by Pulitzer Prize-nominated intellectual property expert, the late David Kline, and edited by David Kappos, partner, Cravath, Swaine, & Moore LLP and former director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

IP now accounts for more than 90% of the market value of publicly-traded companies and represents 38% of total U.S. GDP, according to Kappos.

"IP drives corporate value and serves as the foundation for startups and entrepreneurial ventures, but it has traditionally been absent from undergraduate education," Kappos said. "We hope that making this topic more accessible will ultimately strengthen our economy."

Despite the importance and prevalence of IP, significant opportunity gaps prevail, reflected in the small percentage of patents issued to women and people of color. According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, at the current rate of progress, female inventors will not reach parity in patenting until 2092. Additionally, the Innovation Alliance reports that people of color, low-income individuals and veterans apply for and hold far fewer patents than white males, which correlates to an imbalance in entrepreneurial startup and success rates.

"We are pleased to add Introduction to Intellectual Property to the OpenStax library of business resources," said Daniel Williamson, OpenStax managing editor. "The ongoing support that Michelson IP has provided OpenStax has had a profound impact on today's learners and will continue to bring equitable course materials to future students."

Increasing access to IP literacy and education is a priority area for Michelson IP because it is a pathway to closing opportunity gaps and fostering wealth creation. Teaming up with OpenStax to release Introduction to Intellectual Property is an integral part of Michelson IP's mission to promote IP learning.

"Intellectual property education has never been more important than it is in today's knowledge economy. IP has become the chief engine of wealth creation and economic growth, and we are proud to make this important curriculum more accessible to all," said inventor Dr. Gary K. Michelson, founder of Michelson IP and contributing author of Introduction to Intellectual Property.

The authors will participate in a launch event and discussion at 10:00 a.m. PST, March 3, 2021. The program, co-hosted by Michelson IP, is free and open for registration through Zoom. College and university instructors across disciplines are encouraged to attend.

About The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property: Michelson IP, an initiative of the Michelson 20MM Foundation, provides access to empowering IP education for budding inventors and entrepreneurs. Michelson 20MM was founded by the renowned spinal surgeon and inventor Dr. Gary K. Michelson with his wife and co-chair, Alya Michelson. For more information, visit

About OpenStax: As an ed-tech initiative that is part of Rice University and supported by philanthropic foundations, OpenStax provides free college and Advanced Placement textbooks that are developed and peer-reviewed by educators, as well as low cost, personalized courseware that helps students learn. For more information, visit

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Media contact:
Geoffrey Baum
Phone: 310-806-9707