In general there are multiple ways to protect your interest in intellectual property. A qualified Intellectual Property Attorney can help you through the processes needed to provide the best protection for your intellectual property. Here is a rough summary:
Patent: A grant made by a government that confers upon the creator of an invention the sole right to make, use, and sell that invention for a set period of time.
Trademark: A name, symbol, or other device identifying a product, officially registered and legally restricted to the use of the owner or manufacturer.
Copyright: a legal concept giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time. Generally, it is "the right to copy", but also gives the copyright holder the right to be credited for the work, to determine who may adapt the work to other forms, who may perform the work, who may financially benefit from it, and other related rights.
Trade Secret: a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, or compilation of information which is not generally known or reasonably ascertainable, by which a business can obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers. In some jurisdictions, such secrets are referred to as "confidential information", but are generally not referred to as "classified information" in the United States, since that refers to government secrets protected by a different set of laws and practices.
Are you making the right choices for your business?
Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor
Visit us at: www.scoresouthflorida.net