What are the different types of Intellectual Property?
Patents – protect new or improved inventions or innovations; (utility, plant, design)
Copyrights – protect the expression of ideas and concepts in a “fixed and tangible” medium
Trademarks – protect the public as to the source of goods and services
Trade Secrets – protect confidential information
What is a patent?
What can you patent?
How long does a patent last?
What are the features of a patent?
What is patent infringement?
What is a trademark?
What can you trademark?
How long does a trademark last?
What are the five types of trademarks?
Can you use TM without registering trademark?
What is a copyright?
A copyright is legal protection of authorship for original works created in any “fixed and tangible medium” of expression such as in literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic, sculptural or architectural works. Compilations and derivative works can also be protected by copyright.
What can’t you copyright?
You cannot copyright ideas, procedures, processes, methods of operation, concepts or discoveries.
What protection do copyrights provide?
The copyright owner has the exclusive right to make a copy of, display, perform and/or distribute the copyright work to the public. No one else has these rights without license from the owner. Important note - a work prepared by an employee provides no copyright protection to the employee. This is called a "work made for hire".
How long does a copyright last?
Where are copyrights registered?
What is a trade secret?
Any product or process a company or individual keeps secret. The best known / unknown company trade secret is the formula for Coca-Cola.
What can you protect by trade secret?
Trade secrets can be used to protect any company process or product such as formulas, client lists, manufacturing process or anything that can be kept a secret and not reverse engineered.
How long does a trade secret last?
As long as it is kept a secret!
How is a trade secret protected?
Unlike patents, trademarks and copyrights, there is no place to register a trade secret. A trade secret must be kept by taking whatever “reasonable” steps are necessary to maintain the secret, such as releasing the information only to those on a need to know basis and with contracts in place to ensure confidentiality.
How is a trade secret enforced?
This is not Legal Advice and should not be construed as an engagement or offer of legal advice. These are only sample Q&A related to patents and trademarks. Protection and enforcement of IP property rights is subject to the nuances of circumstance and complexity of the law.