Intellectual Property Law Center

You can apply for a patent if you have invented a product or process that is novel and non-obvious.

A creative work that is fixed in a tangible medium usually qualifies for copyright protection.

A trademark is used to distinguish a product or service from competing products or services.

A trade secret involves confidential information that gives a business a competitive edge.

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  • Applying for a Patent
    To get patent protection, you must file an application that describes your invention and shows why it is novel and non-obvious to people in your field.
  • Patent Infringement
    A patent owner can enforce their rights by suing anyone who makes, uses, or sells their invention or part of it without permission during the term of the patent.
  • Copyright Infringement
    To establish copyright infringement, you must show that you hold a valid copyright in a work and that the defendant violated one or more of your exclusive rights.
  • Fair Use
    In limited situations, the fair use doctrine can shield people who use copyrighted material without getting permission from the owner.
  • Choosing Among Patent, Copyright, and Trademark
    You should understand the differences among the three main forms of intellectual property so that you know which type of protection to seek.
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