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Definitions Of A Trademark, Copyright, And Patent Overview

Jun 7, 2008
The word trademark describes an image, a device, or words which act like a signature for a certain product.

Copyright is a way of protecting both unpublished and published literary, artistic and scientific works, and any forms of expressions as long as it is tangible. It means you can touch it, hear it, or see it. An essay, a play, a song, funky original choreography, HTML coding, or graphics can be protected. Laws of copyright grant the creator's exclusive rights to distribute, display, perform, reproduce, and prepare derivative works publicly.

A patent is another form of IP (intellectual property). The right of a patent in the United States is granted by the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) to the inventors. This is to prevent others from using, making, selling, importing, or offering sales of such invention over a limited period of time. The law concerning the United States patent is stated in the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. The act contains clarifications on using jargons resolving some confusion and complexity.

There are subjects which are not given patent protection. It includes mental processes, physical phenomena, abstract ideas, and nature laws. Take for instance; you can't patent a new plant, insect, or mineral found or discovered in the wilderness. Likewise, the law of gravity couldn't have patented by Newton and "E=mC2" by Einstein. Any discovery which shows characteristics of nature is not reserved for a single person since it is free to all. Nature laws and abstract ideas are reserved for public domain. Artistic, musical, dramatic, or literary works are entitled for copyright protection. Inventions which are offensive and not useful are deprived of a patent right.

The purpose of the patent law is giving the inventors full rights on what they invent. This also ensures protection from any form of fraud that may come later. You can find this law in the U.S. Constitution, Clause 8 of Section 8 of Article I, It also gives monopoly rights to the inventors so they can sell or distribute their idea however they wish.

The patented inventions can be displayed in public, however, this doesn't mean that they are allowed to be copied and distributed by other people. When trying to obtain full rights on your invention, you have to make sure that it fits the usage standards, otherwise you main not obtain full rights.

Although abstract ideas or processes that involve the nature cannot be patented, when it comes to software that uses nature laws, it can be patented because it's part of an original program. Although mathematic discoveries cannot be patented, programs which use mathematic laws can be patented, as long as they are original and useful. The law for software protection has been accepted in 1981 by the Supreme Court.

Only unique ideas or new useful inventions can obtain protection. Unless the invention is easily applicable and has a well served purpose, it will not fit the requirements in order to be protected. Also, inventions that are too obvious will have the same fate. Inventions which were sold before being registered will not qualify, when trying to obtain copyright. People who invent the same thing in different parts of the world cannot obtain protection rights easily.

In general, the patent claims contain the preamble or the introductory paragraph. It is followed by the elements recited as steps or means to perform a specific function. The elements can be narrowly interpreted by structure, name, or defined steps. The defenses of a patent to infringement include invalidity and non-infringement.
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Find more free resources on business trademarks and patents and ways to protect yourself and your business at http://trademark.tips-and-guides.com.
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