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Understand Different Kinds of Intellectual Property Rights

Patent, Copyright, Trademarks, and Service-marks are different categories of intellectual property protection. Each one seems similar, but serves different purposes. USPTO agency designed by the US Government is responsible to approve the rights of intellectual property.

Duties of the USPTO

  • Examines applications
  • Approves entitled applicant’s inventions
  • Publishes and circulates patent
  • Records assignment of patents
  • Maintains search files related to the foreign and the US patents
  • Maintains searches for public use
  • Supplies patent copies and official paperwork to public
  • Trademark grants and distribution of information is also performed

What are patents?

Patent of an invention gives the inventor a legal property right. Generally, its term in the US is 20 years from filing date. There are three kinds of patents.

  1. Utility patent – It is granted to the person, who discovers or invents useful machine, process of manufacturing or improvements, etc.


  1. Design patent – It is given to a person inventing original and patterned design for manufacturing process.


  1. Plant patent – It is rewarded to a person, who creates or reproduces a distinct and new plant variety.

What are trademarks?

Word, symbol, device, or name used in trade to indicate the goods source and differentiate them from competitor’s products is called a trademark. Trademark rights disallow the use of similar mark.

What is service-mark?

Service mark is similar to trademark but it identifies and differentiates the source of service instead of products.

What is copyright?

Literary, artistic, musical, literary, etc are kind of intellectual property, which fall under copyright category. Copyright Act gives owner exclusive rights to distribute copies or prepare derivative works or publicly display copyrighted work.

Copyright protects the writing of subject matter. For example, a copyrighted machine description cannot be copied but it will not prevent others from making and employing the machine. You will need to get copyright application registered at Copyright Office of Congress Library.

Reasons to take help from patent attorneys

Knowledge of patent law, Office practice, and processes is crucial. In addition, the patent litigation lawyers need to be skilled in identifying the technical or scientific matters involved in a specific invention. Employing a lawyer is not mandatory.

The inventors can do it themselves but they need to be familiar with the rules and needs of how to write a proper patent application. If the inventor is not skilled then the patent obtained successfully will not be sufficient to protect their unique invention.

Therefore, it is wise to hire USPTO registered patent attorney. You will also find patent agents, who are permitted to draft application and perform suit in the USPTO. However, make sure your state allows application drafted by patent agents.

Different kinds of patent applications

  1. Non-provisional patent application includes –
  • Written document that includes the description and claim
  • Drawings if necessary
  • Declaration or oath
  • Filing, search and examining fees
  1. Provisional patent application does not need oat and claims. It offers you to establish early effective filing date and applies ‘Patent Pending’ status.

Patent application needs plethora of knowledge about the applied rules and paperwork. An experienced lawyer is necessary to drive you through this complex process without any glitches.

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