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.