The terms patent, copyright, and trademark are all used in the context of intellectual property. Although intellectual property or intellectual ideas are created in the human mind, intellectual property does not refer to the ideas. It is how the idea materialises itself and the end result that is protected with a patent, a copyright, or a trademark. The design of a fuel-efficient car maybe patented but not the idea. The story or the manuscript of a book is copyrighted and not the idea of the book itself. When you start a new company, the logo is trademarked and not the idea of creating a logo.
Under U.S. patent law, any person who “invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent.
What may be trademarked?
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.
What is a provisional patent?
a provisional application is a legal document filed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), that establishes an early filing date, but does not mature into an issued patent unless the applicant files a regular non-provisional patent application within one year.
What may be copyrighted?
Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture.
What is a design patent?
a design patent is a form of legal protection granted to the ornamental design of a functional item. Design patents are a type of industrial design right.
What is “patent pending”?
Patent pending is the term used to describe a patent application that has been filed with the patent office, but has not issued as a patent. Patent pending indicates that the inventor is pursuing protection, but the scope of protection, or whether a patent will even issue, is still undetermined.
Do I need to mark my products?
The reason is that if products are not appropriately marked before they enter the stream of commerce, the damages that the manufacturer can receive in a patent infringement action against someone that has copied that product are reduced.