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Patents, trademarks, and copyrights are all forms of intellectual property. They protect different types of intellectual property rights. When you want to consider the differences between intellectual property forms such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks it’s easy to confuse them because the law is too complex. Here are answers to some of the questions you may have regarding intellectual property law.

What are patents?

A patent is a property right granted to inventors by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Patents grant the patentee the right to exclude others from using, making, offering for sale, or even selling this invention. Under patent law, any person can discover or invent a new or useful item. The three most common types of patents are design, plant, or utility patents. A patent attorney can help you to decide which patent type is best for your invention.

What are copyrights?

Copyrights offer protection to authors of original works and are registered by the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. The copyright protects the original expression in the work, not the underlying idea.

What are trademarks?

Trademarks are words or symbols that convey a business to the public. A registered trademark provides several advantages that gives notice that you own the registered mark.

Which is easiest to obtain?

In order of the easiest to get, to the hardest – copyright, trademark then patent.

How long do copyright, trademark, and patents protection last?

The duration of copyright protection depends on whether the copyright was created after 01/01/78 as they last the life of the author’s life plus 70 years. Patents generally last for 20 years from the date of filing with the exception of design patents, which have a 14-year duration. Trademarks can be renewed continuously as long as the trademark owner continues to use the mark to promote goods or services.

Call to Schedule a Consultation With a California Intellectual Property Attorney Today

If you want to learn more about intellectual property, call to schedule a consultation with a California trademark lawyer. Our legal team at the Law Offices of Dorian Cartwright is here to help you choose the protection that best serves you. We serve the cities of San Jose, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Santa Clara, San Francisco, and the surrounding communities. Schedule an appointment to learn more about our legal services by calling us at 1-800-810-8030.

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