Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) is the general term for diverse categories of intangibles that are subject to ownership (legal title) and other rights under state and federal laws in the US, and most other jurisdictions throughout the world. Below is a general overview of the five general categories of IP:

Patents

Utility patents protect useful, novel, and non-obvious inventions for processes, machines, manufactured goods, compositions of matter, and improvements thereof. Design patents and plant patents are also available.

Trademarks

Names, brands, symbols, slogans, colors, sounds, package and store designs, and other devices used to identify a particular source of goods and services in a relevant marketplace.

Copyrights

Original works of expression in diverse categories, including literary works, computer software, recordings, and audiovisual works.

Mask Works

Collections of templates (photographic masks) used to create complex electronic circuits on semiconductor chips, and the chips themselves.

Trade Secrets

Business, financial, and technical information that the owner keeps confidential through reasonable efforts, and from which economic value is derived by virtue of the information not being generally known.

 

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