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PROTECTION: Types of Intellectual Property

There are several types of intellectual property to help protect your business and your ideas.  Our core business strengths are filing and obtaining protection, in cases where such filings are applicable, for your business.  In cases where such filings are not applicable, like trade secrets, we can analyze and provide suggestions in industry leading best policies and pracices to help you protect those secrets. 

Utility Patents

Design Patents

Plant Patents



Trade Secrets

Protectable subject matter

Useful processes, machines, articles of manufacture, and compositions of matter.

Ornamental designs for article of manufacture.

New varieties of plants.

Words, names, symbols, or other devices used serve to distinguish goods or services.

Including, service marks, certification marks, and collective membership marks.

Works of authorship, including writings, music, works of art, and the like, reduced to a tangible medium of expression.

Information not generally known in a trade which gives a business an advantage over competitors, such as formulas, chemical compounds, blueprints, dimensions, tolerances, customer lists, etc.

Sources of Protection

Issuance of patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Issuance of patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Issuance of patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Common law protection, so long as proper use continues.

State registrations available.

Issuance of Federal Registration by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Federal law protects when fixed in a tangible medium of expression.

Issuance of Registration Certificate by Copyright Office.

Protected by common law, state statutes, principle of express or implied contract law, and law of unfair competition.

Not specifically protected by federal statute.

Terms of Protection

20 years from earliest filing date of patent application.

14 years from issuance of patent.

From issuance of patent to 20 years from filing of patent application.

10 years from issuance of Federal Registration renewable for additional 10 year terms, as long as properly used and not abandoned.

State terms vary; typically 10 years and renewable.

Life of author, plus 70 years for works created after January 1, 1978.

95 years from first publication for works made for hire, and anonymous and pseudonymous works.

As along as information remains a secret.

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