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Incorporating Services, Ltd. (Incserv) invites you to follow our blog series on Intellectual Property. Marvin Lawrence is a Client Services Representative in our Washington, DC office specializing in Intellectual Property. Marvin shares with us this initial installment in the series as we prepare for our 2016 Incserv Lunch Seminar Series to be held in June. The seminar will include a panel of experienced Intellectual Property attorneys including one from the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Intellectual Property is simply a term referring to creations of the intellect for which a monopoly is assigned to designated owners by law. It controls the ownership of ideas and the expression thereof. The most common types of intellectual property are Trademarks, Patents and Copyrights. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) handle patents and trademarks, while the United States Copyright Office, under the Library of Congress, handles copyrights. Let’s briefly explore the types of intellectual property.

A Trademark is a recognized sign, design or expression which distinguishes products or services of a particular trader from the similar products or services of other traders.

A Patent is a form of right granted by the government to an inventor, giving the owner the right to exclude others from making, using selling, or importing an invention for a limited time period.

A Copyright gives the creator of an original work exclusive right to it, usually for a limited time. Copyright applies to creative or artistic works and the manner in which they are expressed.

Examples of intellectual property cross our paths all throughout the day. A logo or a slogan is an example of a trademark. You probably pass hundreds of examples of trademarks on your way to work or school each day.

Patents are typically inventions and may include development of computer software, chemical formulas and processes, cosmetics, and many other products we use or see every day. The way a business does something or performs a function and its method for doing so may be patented. An example of an approved patent is Amazon’s “1-click Ordering”. This process provides expediting of online orders by the click of one button without having to complete all details.

You will find reference to a copyright on movies, music, games, artwork and many creative products that we use for entertainment purposes daily.

Next in our series, we will share the most frequently asked questions we receive with regards to intellectual property. Contact us at any time if you need assistance or feel free to call the specialists in our Washington, DC office at 202.386.7575.

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