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Trademark and Other Intellectual Property Resource Guide

The term intellectual property refers to a number of unique kinds of creations of the mind for which a group of exclusive rights is recognized. Intellectual property law works in the following way. Owners are given specific, exclusive rights to a host of intangible assets, which can be artistic, literary, or musical works, inventions, discoveries, designs, symbols, words, or even phrases. A few examples of common kinds of intellectual property are trademarks, copyrights, industrial design rights, patents, and trade secrets. Intellectual property rights are important since they protect the right of the owners of intellectual property to earn money from the created property, thus stimulating others to come up with intellectual property of their own.

Intellectual Property and the Internet: Looks at intellectual property in the context of the Internet.

Your Rights under Intellectual Property Law: A short explanation of what is involved in intellectual property law with regards to the law.

Intellectual Property Resource Website: Website that offers dozens of links to other websites with more information on intellectual property.

Intellectual Property Explained: Talks about intellectual property rights and how they’ve figured prominently in the debate on generic drugs.

Definition of Intellectual Property: Defines the four aspects of intellectual property in a way that’s understandable.



Trademarks are distinctive indicators or signs that individuals, businesses, or other legal entities use. They use these indicators or signs to communicate that services or products to consumers that are connected to the trademarks stem from a unique source. Trademarks are also utilized to differentiate services or products from those of other legal entities. Trademarks are commonly designated by three, different symbols based on whether they are unregistered, registered, or simply unregistered service marks. If trademark infringement occurs, owners of a registered trademark have the option of filing a lawsuit to head off any unauthorized usage of his trademark. Commonly, trademarks can either be symbols, logos, names, phrases, words, images, designs, or even a mix of any of these elements.

Overview of Trademark: Trademark is given a definition on this page, along with three other elements that are vital to intellectual property.

Trademark Law Overview: A long and detailed read on everything involved with trademark law.

Legal Fundamentals of Trademarks: Provides information on what the basics of the legal side of trademarks are.

Trademarks Defined: Provides a simple definition of a trademark.

Getting Familiar with Trademarks: Webpage from the Technology Transfers Office gives visitors an introduction to trademarks.

US Government Patent and Trademark Office Website: The official website of the US Government’s Patent and Trademark Office.

Trademarks Explained: Government page dedicated to fighting forgery provides a good definition of what a trademark is.

Differences between Trademarks, Service Marks, and Trade Names: Explains what the differences are of trademarks, service marks, and trade names, which are sometimes confused.

Trademarks, Trade Names, and Service Marks Explained: Provides visitors with a good definition of each: trademark, trade name, and service mark.

Clarifying what a Trademark is: Offers another explanation of what a trademark is, which is a name or a symbol that identifies goods as coming from one entity.



A copyright is best thought of as a group of exclusive rights that are given to the creator of an original work. This includes the adaption of the work, the distribution of the work, and the copying of the work. It is important to realize that a copyright does not protect ideas, but only their expression. Owners of copyrights possess exclusive rights to copying and other exploitations of their work, but only for a specific period of time, after which the copyright expires, bringing the work into the public domain. In the beginning, copyright law only applied to books, but this soon extended to derivative works and other translations. Today, copyright applies to a big range of works like sheet music, maps, paintings, dramatic works, sound recordings, photographs, computer programs, and motion pictures.

FAQs on Copyright: Familiarize visitors with the concepts of copyrights by answering commonly asked questions.

Questions concerning Copyright: Government website attempts to clarify what a copyright is by addressing common questions about it.

What is a Copyright?: Definition of copyright from a page that offers information on intellectual property rights issues.

Stanford Copyright Resource Website: Stanford’s website that is devoted to informing people on issues that involved copyright and fair use.

University of Maryland Copyright Website: Discusses copyrights in the context of the classroom and also the Internet.

Copyright Resource Page: Features many links to websites about copyright issues.

Explanation of Copyright: From the Williams College Libraries comes a definition for what constitutes a copyright, which is found in Title 17, US Code.

Test on Copyright: A quick quiz on questions related to copyright issues that test the knowledge of visitors regarding copyright issues.

Copyright and the Internet: A look at the relationship between copyright and the Internet, now that the Internet is such a broad medium.


Trade Secret

A trade secret can be a process, practice, design, formula, pattern, or a collection of information that is not commonly known or plausibly attainable. A trade secret is also generally something by which a business can get an economic advantage over its customers or its competitors. Two other phrases for trade secrets are classified information and confidential information. For the most part a trade secret is based on these three factors. The three factors are information not generally available to the public, the deliverance of a kind of economic benefit to its holder, and being subjected to demonstrable efforts to have its secrecy maintained. Companies can protect themselves from their trade secrets being compromised by making sure they have non-disclosure or non-compete clauses with their employees.

Trade Secret Considerations: Outlines some of the considerations that are important in trade secret issues.

Trade Secret Law Defined: A definition of trade secret law that involves the concept of business information that’s not widely known.

The Trade Secret Act Explained: Touches on the Trade Secret Act and goes into some of its particulars.

Trade Secrets and Commercial Privacy: Explores how trade secret protection is really tantamount to the principle of commercial privacy.

What is a Trade Secret?: From the Food and Drug Administration comes a straightforward and understandable explanation of a trade secret.

Trade Secret Law in Delaware: Details how trade secret law is applied and enforced in Delaware.

Trade Secret Confidentiality Maintenance: Informs people about keeping their information confidential if they want to file for information with the Department of Environment Protection.

Claims for Trade Secrets: Details how companies can classify certain chemicals they use as trade secrets.

Trade Secret Defined: Legal dictionary that provides very straightforward definitions of what a trade secret is.

All About Trade Secrets: Website that gives people information on trade secret law and then on how to protect said trade secrets.



A patent is defined as a group of exclusive rights that a national government can give to either an inventor or their assignee for a specific period of time, provided that he publically divulges the invention. In most cases, an application for a patent has to include a claim that defines the invention. Said invention has to be industrially applicable, new, useful, and non-obvious. Patent rights generally mean that other people are not allowed to use, make, sell, or distribute the invention without any permission. If a current patent happens to fall within the scope of an earlier patent, then that proprietor does not have the right to use the patented invention. Much of the time, areas like mental acts and business methods are not included in patents.

Tutorial on Patents: Provides visitors with tutorials to understand what patents are.

Patents on DNA: Database on DNA patents.

Explanation of Patent: Duke University webpage that gives people a definition of what a patent is in the US.

FAQs on Patents: Answers some basic questions in the patent application process.

The Definition of a Patent: From the University of North Texas Libraries comes a definition on patents, including definitions for different types.

Patents Clarified: From UC San Diego Libraries comes a definition of patents, calling them legal documents.

Patent: PennState: A brief definition of patents, explaining who grants them and what they are similar to.

Patent Description: From the SANS Technology Institute comes an article-length explanation on what a patent is.

Patent Tutorial Video: Features a unique approach to explaining patents: a video tutorial that makes understanding easier.

All About Patents: Defines a patent, calling it a 20-year monopoly that grants rights to patent holders.