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Trademarks and ServicemarksCost Federal

      atents, trademarks and copyrights are three distinct kinds of intangible property that are completely different from each other and serve different purposes.

      Patents give an inventor the right to exclude others from making, using or selling an invention, design or plant during the term of a patent. There are three kinds of patents: utility patents, design patents and plant patents. A utility patent, which is the most frequently used kind of patent, covers those kinds of things which are usually regarded as inventions: new machines, processes, manufactures, compositions of matter, and improvements thereon. The utility patent generally covers the way something works. A design patent, on the other hand, protects any new, original and ornamental design, and is directed to the appearance of an article of manufacture. A plant patent can be obtained on a new variety of asexually-reproducible plant.

      A trademark relates to any word, name, symbol or device which is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of origin of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others. Trademarks are such things as arbitrary names or symbols which are used to identify a business or the products produced by that business.

      Copyrights protect literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works against copying.

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