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Finding Patents

Learn about patents and where to find patents

Patents vs. Copyrights vs. Trademarks

  Patents                 Copyrights                              Trademarks

What is it?

A patent is a limited duration property right that protects an invention. In order to qualify for a patent, an invention must have patentable subject matter (any process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter), utility (useful), novelty (new), nonobviousness (the invention cannot have been obvious to a person having ordinary skill), and enablement (enough detail to be recreated from patent).

A patent generally lasts 20 years from the date it on which the application was filed.


A copyright is an intellectual property right  that protects original works of authorship as soon as an author fixes the work in a tangible form of expression.             

A copyright lasts for the duration of the author's life + 70 years.                                

A trademark is a brand name.

A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, used by merchants to distinguish their goods and services from those offered by others.

The owner of a trademark has the exclusive right to use that brand name in the region in which it was trademarked. Forever? Need to check

Examples: Inventions such as cell lines, machines, medicines paintings, photographs, illustrations, musical compositions, sound recordings, computer programs, books, poems, blog posts, movies, architectural works, plays Brand names, words, phrases, chimes, bottle shapes