Course Content
Learn Introductory plant breeding with Braimy- B.Sc agriculture
About Lesson
  1. Patents:

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office grants property rights to original inventions, from processes to machines. Patent law protects inventions from use by others and gives exclusive rights to one or more inventors. Technology companies commonly use patents, as seen in the patent for the first computer to protect their investment in creating new and innovative products. The three types of patents consist of:

a) Design patents: Protection for the aesthetics of a device or invention. Ornamental design patents include a product’s shape (Coca-Cola bottle), emojis, fonts, or any other distinct visual traits.

b) Plant patents: Safeguards for new varieties of plants. An example of a plant patent is pest-free versions of fruit trees. But inventors may also want a design patient if the tree has unique visual properties.

c) Utility patents: Protection for a product that serves a practical purpose and is useful. IP examples include vehicle safety systems, software, and pharmaceuticals. This was the first, and is still the largest, area of patent law.

  1. Trademarks:

Trademarks protect logos, sounds, words, colors, or symbols used by a company to distinguish its service or product. Trademark examples include the Twitter logo, McDonald’s golden arches, and the font used by Dunkin.

Although patents protect one product, trademarks may cover a group of products. The Lanham Act, also called the Trademark Act of 1946, governs trademarks, infringement, and service marks.

  1. Copyrights:

Copyright law protects the rights of the original creator of original works of intellectual property. Unlike patents, copyrights must be tangible. For instance, you can’t copyright an idea. But you can write down an original speech, poem, or song and get a copyright.

Once someone creates an original work of authorship (OWA), the author automatically owns the copyright. But, registering with the U.S. Copyright Office gives owners a head-start in the legal system.

  1. Trade Secrets:

Trade secrets are a company’s intellectual property that isn’t public, has economic value, and carries information. They may be a formula, recipe, or process used to gain a competitive advantage.

To qualify as a trade secret, companies must work to protect proprietary information actively. Once the information is public knowledge, then it’s no longer protected under trade secrets laws. According to 18 USC § 1839(3), assets may be tangible or intangible, and a trade secret can involve information that’s:

  • Business
  • Financial
  • Technical
  • Economic
  • Scientific
  • Engineering
Join the conversation