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Intellectual Property

What is a patent?

A patent is a property right granted by the Government of the United States giving an inventor the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the patented invention. For more information, go to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (


What is a trademark?

A trademark is a word, name, symbol or device, which is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others. A service mark is the same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. Trademark rights are based on first use in commerce and will prevent others from selling similar products using the same name or symbol, or any confusingly similar name or symbol. However, it will not prevent others from making or selling the same goods or products.


What is a copyright?

A copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of “original works of authorship”. Several classifications of works are specified under the copyright statutes and include, but are not limited to, literary works, dramatic works, musical works, computer programs, video recordings, and artistic expressions. A copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the work. For example, a copyrighted description of an article of manufacture or a process would prevent others from copying the description, but not from making the article or using the process.

Copyright Office website:(

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