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  • What are intellectual property (IP) rights?
    ​There are four main types of rights that fall under IP law. Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks, and Trade Secrets.
  • What is a copyright?
    Original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Works of authorship include the following categories: 1) literary works; 2) musical works, including any accompanying words; 3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music; 4) pantomimes and choreographic works; 5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; 6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works; 7) sound recordings; and 8) architectural works.
  • What is a patent?
    There are three types of patents: 1) utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof; 2) design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture; and 3) plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant.
  • What is a trademark?
    A trademark is a word, name symbol, or device that is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others.
  • ​What are trade secrets?
    Trade secrets consist of information and can include a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique or process.
  • Who owns a copyright?
    Generally, copyrights are owned by the person(s) who created the original work of expression. However, works created as "work for hire" or by an employee at the request of an employer will place the ownership in someone other than the creator.
  • What does a trademark registration protect?
    Trademark law has been recognized for a long time as having two main purposes: 1) protecting consumers from the likelihood of being confused or deceived about the source of goods or services in the marketplace, and 2) encouraging merchants to back their goods or services by protecting the goodwill developed in their trademarks.
  • Can I copyright my domain name?
    Domain names are not protectable under Copyright law. A nonprofit organization by the name of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), assumed the responsibility of domain name system management, and through accredited registers it administers the assigning of domain names.
  • How long is a trademark registration good for?
    Trademark registration and protection may remain in force for potentially unlimited consecutive ten-year periods as long as the owner meets the legal requirements for post-registration maintenance and renewal and timely files all necessary documents.
  • Is it necessary to register a copyright?
    Copyright registration allows federal protection of your rights which gives the owner the right to bring legal proceedings in federal court against repeated infringers.
  • Who monitors the use of my trademark?
    The owner of a trademark has the responsibility of monitoring and enforcing their trademark rights and bringing any infringement claims and/or other causes of action.
  • Why should I get a trademark registration?
    Trademark registration allows an individual the right to enforce their rights and bring legal proceedings in federal court against repeated infringers.
  • What do the symbols ©, ®, SM, TM, ℗ and Pat. Pending mean?"
    © represents a registered copyright ® represents a registered trademark ℠ represents a service mark ™ represents an unregistered trademark Pat. Pending represents a filed/pending patent application ℗ represents a registered/granted patent


Frequently Asked Questions

Disclaimer: The questions and answers provided on this page are not a legal point of reference and are purely for informative purpose only. They do not necessarily represent the official position of ABSimmons Law, PLLC.

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