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What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property (IP) is property that results from original creative thought.  Patents, trademarks and copyrights are among the most well-known forms of IP and can be the most important assets an entity possesses.  We handle both search and filing requests with the U.S. Patent Trademark Office (USPTO) and the U.S. Copyright Office.

Copyrights

A copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of “original works of authorship” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished. The 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies or phono records of the copyrighted work, to perform the copyrighted work publicly, or to display the copyrighted work publicly.

The copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the writing. For example, a description of a machine could be copyrighted, but this would only prevent others from copying the description; it would not prevent others from writing a description of their own or from making and using the machine. Copyrights are issued by the Library of Congress.

Patents

Patents are a property right granted by the Government of the United States of America to an inventor. According to the law, a patent gives the right “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States” for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted.

Trademarks

A trademark is a protection of words, names, symbols, sounds, or colors that distinguish goods and services from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods. Trademarks, unlike patents, can be renewed forever as long as they are being used in commerce.

Intellectual Property is Everywhere!

Many transactions include searching copyrights, patents and trademarks to verify ownership.  Of course we also help new and growing companies file trademark and copyright applications. Need help with intellectual property searching and filing? Contact us today!

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