Learn How to Protect Your Innovations and Creative Work with The Intangible Advantage

An Intellectual Property Guide for Innovators in the Making
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Who Should Read The Intangible Advantage?


Inventors, artists, startup founders, investors, researchers, and anyone else in the innovation ecosystem — learn how you can, and why you should, protect your creations.

Legal Professionals

Attorneys, licensing and technology transfer professionals — learn how you can use this resource to help your clients, students, or your overall brand in the competitive world of intellectual property.


Teachers and professors — prepare your students for the new economy and the role intellectual property will play in their future careers.

What You'll Learn

Read The Intangible Advantage to equip yourself with the basics of intellectual property. Protecting innovations and creative work is more crucial than ever in today’s Knowledge Economy.


How do exclusive rights to your inventions benefit you and society? Find out what’s patentable, what’s not, and how to navigate the patent system successfully.


Learn how you can protect a wide variety of artistic and intellectual works. What’s Fair Use – and what’s not?


Why are trademarked words, names, and symbols so valuable – and how can you protect them?

Trade Secrets

Do you have to publicly disclose your creation to gain legal protection?

The Intangible Advantage book on iPad and iPhone

About The Book

The Intangible Advantage is the first-ever intellectual property book written for ordinary citizens.

The Intellectual Property Book for Today’s Economy

Over the last 40 years, intellectual property has grown from an arcane, narrowly-specialized legal field into a major force in American social and economic life. It comprises an astonishing 45 percent of total U.S. GDP today, and represents 80 percent of the market value of all publicly-traded companies in the U.S.

Indeed, intellectual property has become the new watchword in almost any career today. Look around and you’ll see IP’s imprint everywhere.

From Silicon Valley startups to Fortune 500 board rooms, from MIT engineering labs to Wall Street trading desks, and from college business seminars to debates in Congress over global trade policy, intellectual property issues now lie at the heart of almost every arena of modern life today.

As a result, any young person today who does not understand at least the basics of intellectual property — and its value and role in science, business, arts, and the professions — will find him or herself at a distinct disadvantage in the world of tomorrow.

Written by Experts

Written by Pulitzer Prize-nominated intellectual property expert David Kline, with former Undersecretary of Commerce and Director of the Patent Office David Kappos serving as executive editor.

This book is accompanied by an interactive ebook with learning assessment tools (available in the iBooks Store), and a series of short animated videos on various intellectual property topics (available on YouTube).

Presented by the Michelson 20MM Foundation

The Intangible Advantage is published by the Michelson 20MM Foundation and made possible by the generous support of Gary and Alya Michelson.

Educators: Adopt The Book In Your Class

We’re helping educators adopt The Intangible Advantage to teach to their students. Contact us to find out how we can help you adopt the book.

Created by The Brightest Minds in Intellectual Property

Gary K. Michelson

Gary K. Michelson

Publisher, Contributing Author

Gary Karlin Michelson, M.D., is a distinguished Board Certified Orthopedic Spinal Surgeon and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, who has devoted his life to helping others.

Dr. Michelson is the most prolific inventor in the history of medicine, and is the sole named inventor of more than 950 already issued patents throughout the world. He is one of very few people ever inducted into both the National Inventors Hall of Fame as well as the National Academy of Inventors.

In conjunction with many others and on behalf of independent inventors, Dr. Michelson worked to help shape and ultimately to have passed the America Invents Act of 2011. In recognition of his efforts Dr. Michelson was invited by President Obama to attend the signing of that historical legislation at the White House.

Dr. Michelson has been a longtime promoter and supporter of entrepreneurial competitions at various business schools throughout the country.

Read Gary Michelson’s Full Bio

David Kappos

David Kappos

Executive Editor

David Kappos is widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost leaders in the field of intellectual property, including intellectual property management and strategy, the development of global intellectual property norms, laws and practices as well as commercialization and enforcement of innovation‑based assets.

From August 2009 to January 2013, Mr. Kappos served as Under Secretary of Commerce and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In that role, he advised the President, Secretary of Commerce and the Administration on intellectual property policy matters. As Director of the USPTO, he led the Agency in dramatically reengineering its entire management and operational systems as well as its engagement with the global innovation community. He was instrumental in achieving the greatest legislative reform of the U.S. patent system in generations through passage and implementation of the Leahy‑Smith America Invents Act, signed into law by the President in September 2011.

David Kline

David Kline


David Kline is a Pulitzer-Prize-nominated journalist and author who has covered some of the world’s most important stories over the last 30 years for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Rolling Stone, the Atlantic, Harvard Business Review, CBS and NBC TV, and other national media. He was also a contributing writer for Wired magazine for many years.

In more recent years, Kline has written on a variety of business and technology topics, with a special focus on intellectual property issues. His bestselling book Rembrandts in the Attic from Harvard Business Press is considered the seminal work on patent strategy within corporate America and has helped to shape the direction of corporate and policy-maker thinking on patent issues.

In 2016, Kline was named one of the “World’s Top 300 Intellectual Property Strategists” by Intellectual Asset Management magazine.

Contributing Authors

Randall E. Kahnke

Randall E. Kahnke

Contributing Author

Attorney focused on complex commercial litigation and intellectual property litigation.

Robert G. Krupka

Robert G. Krupka

Contributing Author

One of the foremost patent litigators in the nation.

Kerry L. Bundy

Kerry L. Bundy

Contributing Author

Attorney with concentration on trade secret litigation and counseling, franchise and distribution litigation, non-compete cases, international arbitration, and complex commercial litigation.

Editorial Advisors

Louis Foreman

Louis Foreman

Editorial Advisor

Inventor, entrepreneur and President of the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation.

Paul R. Michel

Paul R. Michel

Editorial Advisor

Chief Judge (ret.) of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the nation’s main court for patent appeals.

Richard Epstein

Richard Epstein

Editorial Advisor

Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at New York University, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and professor emeritus and senior lecturer at the University of Chicago.

Paul M. Janicke

Paul M. Janicke

Editorial Advisor

Professor in the Intellectual Property and Information Law Program at the University of Houston Law Center.

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