Intellectual Property

intellectual properties

Intellectual property is any product of human intelligence or creation, that is unique, novel, and unobvious. It should also have some value in the marketplace such as:

Intellectual property is any product of human intelligence or creation, that is unique, novel, and unobvious. It should also have some value in the marketplace such as:

  • Ideas
  • Inventions
  • Expressions
  • Literary and Musical Creations
  • Unique Names (Brands)
  • Business Processes
  • Industrial Processes
  • Chemical Formulas
  • Computer Programs
  • Presentations

Intellectual property is protected under Federal Law by applying for a Copyright, Patent, or Trademark, depending on the type of intellectual property being protected.

COPYRIGHTS Applying for a Copyright will protect literary creations, works of art, and other works of authorship that assume a tangible form of expression including books, essays, poems, manuscripts, songs, paintings, photographs, graphic designs, plays, movies, shows and other forms of performance arts.


The purpose of a trademark is to protect words, phrases, symbols, product shapes, and logos used in Federally regulated commerce. The trademark can take almost any form, as long as it is capable of identifying and distinguishing specific goods or services. Generally, to protect a title, business or brand name, slogan, short phrase, or word a Trademark is used because Copyright law does not protect a single phrase, slogan, or trade name.

Trademark law also governs service marks that are used for services and not goods. Certain common law trademark rights in the United States are based on the mere use of a mark. To ensure the best protection of a mark it is always recommended to register it with either the federal government or a state government. The (r) symbol should be used to mark a federally registered mark. Unregistered trademarks should have a “tm” symbol, while unregistered services marks should have a “sm”.

securing your intellectual property


Section 101 of the U.S. Patent Act lists the following requirements for a utility patent:

“Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvements thereof, may obtain a patent, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.”

In other words, for an invention to be patentable it must be:

Statutory – In essence, this simply means that it must qualify for a patent under the law. The statute states that processes, machines, articles of manufacture, and compositions of matter are all patentable, which covers just about everything as long as it’s not specifically excluded in the Patent Act. Items deemed non-patentable include data structures, compilations or arrangements of non-functional information, and natural phenomena.

New – To patent an invention, it must be new as defined under patent law. The patent would not be granted if ANY of the following conditions existed:

  1. The invention was already known to the public prior to it was “invented” by the individual seeking patent protection
  2. The invention was described in a publication more than one year prior to the filing date
  3. The invention was used publicly, or offered for sale to the public more than one year prior to the filing date.

The United States grants the one-year grace period as described above. However, this grace period is not granted by many other countries. It is best to file a patent prior to any public disclosures. Patent attorneys who are skilled will file the application before any public announcement or release to allow international filings.

  • Useful – This simply is the item being patented has a useful purpose, which includes actual functionality. Obviously, if a machine does not operate to perform the intended purpose, it would not be considered useful, and would not be granted a patent.
  • Non-Obvious – Determining whether a specific change patent law is difficult because it is not easy to determine whether an improvement is “obvious”. An invention cannot be considered “nonobvious” if it is not novel and not obvious to an ordinary person of ordinary skill in art. An Patent Examiner will usually review patents that are similar to the invention for which a patent request is made. The examiner will reject a patent if all features of the invention are not found in another patent. It is identical to the one that was known before.  Examiners will try to combine several prior patents if a single patent does not contain all the features. If such a combination is found, the examiner will usually reject the invention because it is an obvious combination of items in the prior art.. However, there must be some reason to combine multiple references, and many times a rejection based on such a combination can be overcome. Changes to existing products which would not normally be patentable include the substitution of one material for another, or changes in size.

If you would like to protect your intellectual property from infringement or you feel your patent, trademark or copyright has been infringed upon, you can get quick and easy access to Top Intellectual Property Lawyers in your area offering sound legal help and assistance simply by completing the form at the top of this page.