Intellectual property encompasses any creation of the mind that pertains to art, music, or commercial interests and applications. It includes ideas for new products, images used as logos, phrases used as mottos, advertising tag lines, and the like. To protect intellectual property, patents can be used and registered through patent offices across the United States and abroad. A patent can be defined as a legally binding agreement that the inventor of a product, device, or process can prohibit the use of said invention by any other company or individual. The patent acts as protection against loss of profits and rights to any invention patented. It helps to ensure that the company or individual who owns the patent gains the advantages of inventing or developing the product or invention; the term of the patent may last from fourteen to twenty years and can be applied to virtually any idea, process, or product–including biological entities. Obtaining Patents:

· Costs associated with obtaining and registering a patent.

· An explanation of the importance of registering and applying for a patent on intellectual property.

· Patents require conditions and legal considerations prior to submission and application. Trademarks are an important part of any business or research facility and are considered to be intellectual property. A trademark is the image, portrayal, or design that the public associates with a particular brand or company and it should be registered with the proper authorities and government institutions. As with patents, legal documents and applications must be filled out and researched prior to submission to ensure the proper rights and usages are obtained in the trademark registration process. Copyrights allow an individual to use any intellectual property they have created through a registration process; this also allows said individual the right to distribute it and allow others to use it for a fee. National and international copyrights exist and need to be handled by differing offices and institutions to remain legal and valid. The copyright is another protection that an individual or company can take to ensure the legality of their work, and to stop the misuse or illegal use of said intellectually property as it pertains to copyrights. A trade secret is also considered to be intellectual property as a company will use its trade secret in the development of a product or process in their industry. Trade secrets will typically encompass a process by which a product is made or the construction of the product itself but it could encompass multiple aspects of the process. By definition, a trade secret is any valuable business information that is not widely known, used, or developed – and is protected by intellectual property laws and rights set forth by countries around the world. As with any legal agreement or registration, the trade secret, patent, or copyright may be transferred to another individual or company. This is typical in a company merger or buyout and can include the transfer of technology as well.

Other Helpful Resources:

Online Legal Dictionaries

Denture Cream Lawsuits

Unique Role of Internet Legal Research

Fraud Hall of Fame

Kids Rules to Online Safety

Other Resources and Hot Topics from Consumer Injury Lawyers:

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Published November 17, 2011 by