Introduction to Intellectual Property

What is a Patent?

A granted patent for an invention is a property right to inventor/applicant issued by National IP office, generally for a term of 20 years from the date of filing subject to certain extensions available and maintenance fee paid. The rights in the patent include right to exclude others (in contrast to right to make) from making, using, offering for sale, selling, importing. It is applicant or inventor duty to enforce the patent. Generally there are three types of patents:

Utility Patents: for any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof

Design Patents: for new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture

Plant Patent: for asexually reproducing any distinct and new variety of plant.

What Is a Trademark or Servicemark?

A trademark is a word, name, symbol, or device used in business to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others. A servicemark is same as a trademark except that it is used for service rather than a product. The rights in the trademark include preventing others from using a confusingly similar mark. Trademarks may be registered with the National IP Office.

What is a Copyright?

Copyright is a protection provided to the authors of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished for their original work. The rights include exclusive rights to reproduce the copyrighted work, distribute copies, perform copyrighted work publicly, display publicly, or to prepare derivative work. The rights include on the form of expression rather than subject matter.