Lengthy Process Made Easy
As a university affiliate, you will be connected with an experienced patent counsel who will work diligently with you throughout the patenting process. These patent specialists lend their expertise as formal representatives for the University in handling patent filings with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and foreign patent offices. This includes drafting patent applications and responding to all follow-up communications.
Types of IP Protection
Patents are legal grants assigned by the government that gives an inventor exclusive use for a period of time (usually 20 years) in exchange for full disclosure of the invention to the public. They are awarded when an invention is found useful, novel, and non-obvious. Examples include processes, machines, compounds, plants, articles of manufacture, designs, and new uses.
Copyrights are legal grants assigned by the government that last for the lifetime of the copyright holder, plus 70 years. They cover original works of authorship and must be fixed in a tangible medium of expression (e.g., printed book, sound recording, videotape, script, handwritten notes). Copyright protection and rights exist from moment of creation, even without formally registering the work. Examples include software, literary works, photographs, motion pictures, and music.
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, design, slogan, or combination of any of these used to identify the products of a business. It is denoted by the symbols ™ or ®, and examples include Apple's apple or the Starbucks mermaid.
Likewise, a service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, design, slogan, or combination of any of these used to identify the services of a business. It is similarly denoted by the symbol ℠ or ®. The MGM's lion roar, American Airlines, and Marriott Hotels are all service marks.
A trade secret is information that derives independent economic value—actual or potential—from reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy. This means not being generally known or readily ascertainable by proper means to other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use. Examples include formulas, patents, compilations, programs, devices, methods, techniques, or processes.