PATENTS, AND TRADEMARKS
The following is summarized
from "General Information Concerning Patents"
posted on the United States Patent and
Trademark Office website:(www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/doc/general/index.html#ptsc)
The terms, "Copyright",
"Patent", and "Trademark", are often confused.
They are all forms of intellectual property
protection, but they serve different purposes.
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
HOW IS A COPYRIGHT OBTAINED?
A copyright is obtained the
moment the artistic work or expression is
created. The copyrighted work is registered by
filing a copyright registration form with the
United States Copyright Office (www.copyright.gov/)
in the Library of Congress.
WHAT IS A PATENT?
A patent is a grant from the
United States Patent and Trademark Office (www.uspto.gov/)
giving an inventor the right to exclude others
from making, using, offering for sale, or
selling the patented invention for a period of
20 years. U.S. patent grants are effective only
within the U.S., U.S. territories, and U.S.
possessions. After the term of the patent
expires, anyone can make, use or sell the
HOW IS A PATENT OBTAINED?
A patent is obtained by filing a
patent application with the United States Patent
and Trademark Office. By law, only the inventor
may apply for a patent; if two or more people
make an invention, they may file an application
as joint inventors. Along with the application,
the inventor or inventors must file an oath or
declaration asserting that they are the
inventors of the claimed subject matter and
believe that they are the first to have invented
what is claimed. The patent application is a
complex legal document, which describes the
invention in detail so that others will be able
to make and use the invention once the time
period of the patent grant has expired.
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.
HOW IS A TRADEMARK OBTAINED?
A trademark may be obtained from
the office of the Secretary of the State of
Connecticut (phone: 860-509-6000) for intrastate
commerce for a five-year period. Trademarks
obtained prior to October, 1993 are good for ten
Trademarks for interstate
commerce must be registered with the United
States Patent and Trademark Office. It is
recommended that a trademark or service mark
search be undertaken before registration to
verify that the mark is not already in use.
TO FIND PROVIDERS IN
CONNECTICUT'S COMMUNITY RESOURCES DATABASE:
Search by service names:
United States Copyright Office website;
United States Patent and Trademark Office
PAGE PREPARED BY: 211/pt
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: June2012