Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What are the different types of intellectual property protection available?

A. A patent protects a product’s utilitarian/ functional or ornamental aspects, a trademark protects the brand or symbol that identifies a product’s source and copyright protects written and artistic expression


Patent Questions:

Q. What rights do I obtain with a patent?

A. The right to prevent others from practicing your invention.

Q. When should a patent application be filed?

A. It is best to file before public disclosure or offer for sale and it must be filed within one year of disclosure, public use, or offer.

Q. Are there different types of patents?

A. Yes, there are utility patents that protect functionality and design patents that protect the ornamental appearance of a product.

Q. What is patent marking?

A. “Patent Pending” can be used upon filing a patent application and once the patent is issued one should label with Patent Number

Q. I plan to offer my product for sale soon. Can I file something “quickly” to preserve my rights?

A. A “provisional” utility patent application provides “temporary” protection by establishing a filing date for the invention.

Q. How do I take action if I think my patent is being infringed?

A. Investigate, then consult with intellectual property counsel

Q. Can I obtain international patent protection?

A. Yes, international protection is available

Q. How long do my rights last with a design patent?

A. 15 years from issuance


Trademark Questions:

Q. Why bother registering my trademark?

A. A trademark registration provides nationwide protection and puts others on notice of your rights. It can also make enforcement easier, particularly online.

Q. How do I give notice of trademark rights?

A. If a mark is registered, use ®. If a mark is not registered, use ™.

Q. Can I obtain international trademark protection?

A. International protection is available.


Copyright Questions:

Q. What rights does copyright give to the author?

A. Copyright gives the author exclusive rights to their work.

Q. What does a copyright not cover?

A. Copyright does not protect ideas.

Q. How do I obtain a copyright registration?

A. Registrations are obtained by filing an application with the U.S. Copyright Office; A copyright registration is necessary to file a lawsuit for infringement.

Q. What is the term of copyright protection?

A. A copyright can last 120 years or more depending on the circumstances.


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