Information for Inventors and Tribal Businesses


NAIPEC is a non-profit, largely volunteer, or Pro Bono supported organization. Our primary goal is to support the protection of intellectual property (IP) where possible. The projects we take on are dependent on three critical factors:

  • That the inventor or entrepreneur is a registered Tribal Member, and,
  • That the inventor or entrepreneur is willing to invest any profits from the business or invention idea back into the Native American community, and,
  • That the project will substantively help Native American communities through economic development, jobs and wealth creation.

All applicants for assistance from NAIPEC must complete, and comply with NAIPEC’s intake procedure, available upon request.

As part of our charter we help:

1) Individual Native American, or Alaska Native Inventors, who are either:

Verified low-income individuals


Are willing to share a percentage of revenue gained from the Patent, Trademark, Copyright, or any product derived from it, with a registered Native American, or Alaska Native Tribe.

2) Native American or Alaska Native Tribes

3) Native American or Alaska Native wholly or majority owned businesses



For more information on Patents, Trademarks and Copyright, here are some useful resources:

Patents | USPTO Website

Trademarks | USPTO Website

Copyrights | US Copyright Office Website


Who can apply for a patent?

A patent may be applied for only in the name(s) of the actual inventor(s).

What can and cannot be patented?

What can be patented – utility patents are provided for a new, non-obvious and useful:

  • Process
  • Machine
  • Article of manufacture
  • Composition of matter
  • Improvement of any of the above

Note: In addition to utility patents, encompassing one of the categories above, patent protection is available for (1) ornamental design of an article of manufacture or (2) asexually reproduced plant varieties by design and plant patents.

What cannot be patented:

  • Laws of nature
  • Physical phenomena
  • Abstract ideas
  • Literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works (these can be Copyright protected). Go to the Copyright Office .
  • Inventions which are:
    • Not useful (such as perpetual motion machines); or
    • Offensive to public morality

Invention must also be:

  • Novel
  • Non-obvious
  • Adequately described or enabled (for one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention)
  • Claimed by the inventor in clear and definite terms