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Patent 101: Things To Know


Keyword for Patent is the word invention. Inherent to a Patent definition is its being novel or new, it has to be innovative or something that is not as easily made, and it has to be useful.

Legal-Services-2Another word associated with Patent is it must also be non obvious. As there are technical experts in the area of invention, they should see it as a development that is significant and surprising. 

Not Quite The Same

Trademark, copyright and patent breathing are in the same space but are not quite so similar.

Though they are considered protection mechanisms for intellectual properties and are rigorously looked over by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), there are clear distinctions amongst the three.

If an original idea has been expressed physically and tangibly then that is considered a copyright. This protection covers songs, artworks, movies, books, among others. Take note of the word original, it should never be an exact copy of another person’s output of work.



A trademark, is an identification and a distinguishing mark of a product or service to set it apart from the others using design, symbol/s, phrases or word/s.

Among the three, the trademark lasts a lifetime so long as the owner uses it for trade in either goods and services or both. The other two, copyright and patent, has a set terms of years.

Patent Protection

Law_hammerAnd there are protections afforded by securing a Patent.

It provides the inventor a hold on his invention therefore others won’t be able to use or create the same referenced idea. If any parties make or use the invention without explicit permission, they may end up in court. This is called an infringement. This may entail a financial and a criminal burden to the infringer if found guilty.

To address this legally, you may want to secure a license from the inventor so you may be able to make full use of the product. The inventor also has the option to sell his patent to another party if he wishes to.

The US Patent protection is governed by the Federal law. Specifically the Article I, Section 8, clause 8 of the US Constitution gives the patent law its legal authority. Central to this thought and purpose was to propagate the science and the useful arts in serving the public interest through inventions.

Through this Act, the inventors will be given exclusive right to profit from their original ideas for a limited time and thereafter, the public will be given access to these inventions should the Patents expire.

Limited Time

33377536Thus as mentioned, in terms of benefits, for a limited duration of protection the inventor profits from his invention. Depending on the patent type granted, the duration would be 14 years for design patents and 20 years for utility and plant patents.

Though a Patent protects your interests, we can say that it has limitations in terms of time. Just to share Coca Cola considers its top secret soda brew as a trade secret and has not filed for a Patent. It is logical to think of owning the recipe forever instead of realizing one day that it is not yours anymore.

Just in case you find yourself asking the question of what is more beneficial for your need, you may want to consult a Patent lawyer to layout your options.

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