ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Different Types of Intellectual Property Protection in the United States

Updated on January 8, 2018
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of 2, and a published sci-fi and horror author.

Types of Intellectual Property in the US

The United States recognizes several types of intellectual property (IP) protection: copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets. Each type of intellectual property has different legal requirements and protections.

Patents

Patents require submission of a request form to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Patent pending can be written on a product's labeling if a patent has actually been filed. Patents can only be granted on items or processes that are new and novel.

You cannot patent something that already exists and has been in the public domain, nor can you patent something invented by someone else. Patents can be granted on significant improvements of existing designs.

Patents, however, do become public information once granted, which can jeopardize their value as trade secrets.

Patents must be filed within a year of disclosing an invention. If you start building and selling the product and haven't filed a patent within 12 months of doing so, you cannot patent it. If you publish a paper on the invention, you must file a patent within 12 months. Furthermore, a patent filed in one nation may not be enforceable or applicable in others. For example, some nations only recognize patents filed before disclosure of an invention, not the twelve month grace period recognized by the United States. For this reason, it is common to file for patent protection in several nations with patent agreements that span the world.

Patents provide a way to legally control intellectual property and license it, providing a constant stream of income.
Patents provide a way to legally control intellectual property and license it, providing a constant stream of income. | Source

Copyrights

Copyrights can be claimed by the creator for original works. This includes music, movies, articles and books. Software code can also be copyrighted, and executable programs are regularly copyrighted. A copyright mark is not required on copyrighted materials.

There is no need to file a claim with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a copyright. However, the original creator can control works derived on their own copyright if the copyright is still in effect. Copyrights are good for 95 years after publication or 120 years after creation of the work, whichever is sooner.

Once a copyright expires, the work becomes part of the public domain and thus usable by anyone. Others can modify the public domain works as they see fit, and even copyright those new works as their own as long as it is sufficiently different from the original.

Books like mine are copyrighted once they are published.
Books like mine are copyrighted once they are published. | Source

Trademarks

All trademarks must be unique to be protected. They can be filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. All registered trademarks are identified by a TM symbol next to the product name or phrase. Service marks, the symbols that identify a company or organization, can be trademarked. Trademarks do not expire like copyrights and patents. There are trademarks that have been in use for over a century.

Trade Secrets

Trade secrets are confidential information, but they are not copyrighted, trademarked or patented. Designs, business processes and chemical formulations may be kept as trade secrets while they are in development and then later patented. Advertising plans and customer lists are trade secrets.

Trade secrets are protected under the law if a company has taken efforts to protect them without the time limits patents have. As long as trade secrets are protected, they are protected by law against theft and infringement. If a trade secret is patented, it becomes enforceable against infringement and even accidental use by others, but it will expire in 20 years after the patent is granted.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • jainismus profile image

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    4 years ago from Pune, India

    Thank you for sharing this information....

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)