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Different Types of Intellectual Property

Intellectual property law secures and enforces legal rights to inventions, designs, and artistic work.  There are different fields of intellectual property law; depending on what the product is, it will have different rules of protection.  There are 4 specific types of intellectual property law: patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and copyright.  (Related topics: corporate law attorney near me, trusts and estate attorney, estate litigation)

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When an invention is patented, it denies people other than the patent holder the ability of making and selling the product.  There are three different patents available: utility, design, and plant.  A utility patent covers any process, machine, or articles of manufacture.  A design patent protects any new and original designs and appearances of a product.  Lastly, a plant patent protects any new variety of asexual produced plants.



A trademark can be a word, phrase, symbol, or design that is used to represent a company or product.  To qualify for protection, the design must be distinctive.


Trade Secrets

This consists of a specific formula, process, or private business information that companies don’t want their competitors to know.  The problem, though, is that the owner will not receive protection for their trade secret by registering it.  It will only be protected as long as the owner protects it, which can be done by using nondisclosure agreements and restricting access to confidential information.



A copyright protects literary works such as architectural and graphic works, as well as music.  The work must be original and in written form to have copyright protection.  Copyright laws make it easier for the artists or authors to make money off of their works of art.

To get the best protection for your inventions or artwork, there are intellectual property lawyers who deal with any legal issues you may have while trying to protect your property.  Contact your local intellectual property lawyer for more information on how to protect your inventions, designs, or artwork.