Trademarks, Patents and Copyrights

Trademark (TM)

A trademark  is a word, name, symbol, device, slogan or any combination thereof which, whether registered or not, has been adopted and used by a person to identify his goods and distinguish them from the goods manufactured or sold by others.

Service mark (SM)

A service mark  is a word, name, symbol, device, slogan or any combination thereof which, whether registered or not, has been adopted and used by a person to identify his services and distinguish them from the services of others, and includes the titles, designations, character names, and distinctive features of broadcast or other advertising.

The word “mark” is often used generally to refer to both trade and service marks.

Marks used in connection with the sale of goods or provision of services in a state, may be registered in that state.
Marks used in interstate commerce may also be registered under federal law.

Patents

Patents are granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

A patent is an intellectual property right granted by the Government of the United States of America to an inventor “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States” for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted.

There are three types of patents:

  1. Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.
  2. Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.
  3. Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.

Copyrights

Copyrights are registered with the United States Copyright Office in the Library of Congress.

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. The Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to: reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords, prepare derivative works based upon the work, distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other  transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending, perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, perform the work publicly (in the case of sound recordings) by means of a digital audio transmission. In addition, certain authors of works of visual art have the rights of attribution and integrity.