Understanding Intellectual Property
By Mary Bellis, About.com Guide
- Different Types of Intellectual Property
- Getting a Patent
- How to Register and Use Trademarks Correctly
- How to Register and Use Copyrights Correctly
- Searches & Indices - Finding Already Existing Trademarks or Patents
- Trade Secrets
Different Types of Intellectual Property
A basic introduction to intellectual property: patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. How to tell them apart. How to decide which type you need.
- Understanding Intellectual Property
- What is a Patent, Trademark, or Copyright?
- Glossary of Trademark & Patent Terms
Getting a Patent
Utility, design, or plant patents protect inventions and improvements to existing inventions. Inventions must be "things that have purpose" and not ideas or names. For example, I would patent my invention of an improved car tire that never goes flat.
- Patents and Inventions
- USPTO Patent Applications
- Getting a Utility Patent (Most Common Type)
- Provisional Patent (Low-Cost Precurser to Utility Patent)
- Design Patents Vs Other Types of Intellectual Property
- Plant Patents - What Does it Mean to Invent a Plant?
- Understanding the Different Types of Patents
- Using a Patent Attorney
How to Register and Use Trademarks Correctly
Trademarks protect words, names, symbols, sounds, or colors that distinguish goods and services. A great trademark can help with the sales of goods and services and very desirable goods or services can make a trademark famous.
- Introduction to Trademarks
- The Registered Trademark
- Tutorial on Trademark Registration
- Using the Trademark Symbol
How to Register and Use Copyrights Correctly
A copyright protects the form of expression of a creator against copying. Literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works are included within the protection of U.S. copyright law.
Searches & Indices - Finding Already Existing Trademarks or Patents
Step to step guides to searching for patents online using the inventor's name, keywords, or patent numbers. Step to step guides to searching for trademarks online; one purpose of a trademark search is to determine if someone has already trademarked your intended mark.
Trade secrets are information that companies keep secret to give them an advantage over their competitors. Trade secrets unprotected by a patent, copyright, or trademark as no public disclosure has been made.