This Introduction to Intellectual Property (IP101) aims to provide participants with in depth understanding of intellectual property. It helps understanding of concepts of trademarks, patents, copyrights, geographical indications and designs. This program is important if you want to uptake any higher education in IP field.
IP includes patents, trademarks and copyright. A patent provides and exclusive right to an invention. A trademark provides an exclusive right to an indication of the source of product. A Copyright provides an exclusive right to original work. A service mark provides an exclusive right to a service or origin of a service. Unites States Copyright accrue automatically, but a work must be registered with the Unites States Copyright Office to perfect the federal copyright. Trademark rights can also accrue without a federal registration is preferred in almost all situation.
United States patent and Trademark office, are obtained by filling application in USPTO. An examiner in USPTO examines the application for compliance with statutory requirement. The USPTO allows and issues copyright application and reject non-complying application. Trademark and service mark identify your business to the purchaser of your goods and service. Your mark allow a consumer to come back to you if he or she likes what you provide.
Patents provides a limited monopoly, on your company’s products and processes. Monopoly translates into high profit margins due to exclusion of competition. Patents can be obtained on any invention that complies with the statutory requirement, which are that the invention is useful, novel, and non-obvious. Obtaining Unites States patent and Trademark right is expensive primarily due to the amount of high hourly rate attorney time required to prepare an application and guide it through the USPTO.
For the patent, part of that cost can be deferred by initially filling a relatively simple provisional patent application. The filing date of the provisional application is prima facie (evidence legally sufficient to establish a fact unless subsequently disproved by additional evidence) proof of the date of invention. A provisional patent application protects for one year the right to pursue patent protection on the novel aspects of a product or process at a very low cost.