Please Protect Your Intellectual Property – Part V: Trade Secrets

THIS IS THE FIFTH IN A FIVE PART SERIES ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.

“What’s a trade secret? Does such a thing apply to me and my business?” Most likely the answer is yes!

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office says that trade secrets are:

information that companies keep secret to give them an advantage over their competitors. Trade secrets consist of information and can include a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique or process. To meet the most common definition of a trade secret, it must be used in business, and give an opportunity to obtain an economic advantage over competitors who do not know or use it.

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Please Protect Your Intellectual Property – Part IV: Trademarks

THIS IS THE FOURTH IN A FIVE PART SERIES ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.

“Should I get a trademark?  What is a trademark?”

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office says that:

TRADEMARKS protect words, names, symbols, sounds, or colors that distinguish goods and services from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods.”

Examples of trademarks are the Nike “swoosh,” the logo for Starbucks, McDonalds’ golden arches, or Apple’s apple (with a bite taken out). Trademarks can also include the roar of the MGM lions, the scent of perfumes, the pink color of insulation and the Burberry plaid. These are “corporate symbols.” They are there to represent:

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Please Protect Your Intellectual Property – Part III: Copyrights

THIS IS THE THIRD IN A FIVE PART SERIES ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.

“Is that copyrighted?”

The Library of Congress says that copyrights are:

“a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.

This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. Section 106 of the 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and to authorize others to do the following:

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Please Protect Your Intellectual Property – Part II: Patents

THIS IS THE SECOND IN A FIVE PART SERIES ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.

“Do you have a patent for that?”

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office says that a patent is:

PATENTS are a property right granted … to an inventor ‘to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States’ for a limited time in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted. There are three types of patents: 1) Utility patents …; 2) Design patents …; and 3) Plant patents.”

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Please Protect Your Intellectual Property – Part I: Overview

THIS IS THE FIRST IN A FIVE PART SERIES ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.

Entrepreneurs need to protect their intellectual property. But first you need to identify your intellectual property, so, what is intellectual property? The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office says that Intellectual property (IP) is “creations of the mind: creative works or ideas embodied in a form that can be shared or can enable others to recreate, emulate, or manufacture them.”

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