for Obtaining Intellectual Property Rights
following steps outline the process for
getting started with obtaining intellectual
property rights. However, it is highly recommended
that in intellectual property attorney be
consulted at each step of the process. You
are invited to use our
- Decide on what you want to protect.
Is it an invention (for example, a new
machine or chemical formulation); a copyright
(for example, a book, lecture, musical
composition or magazine article); a trademark
(for example, a name for a business, product,
or service); or trade secret (for example,
a confidential and secret process for
making a product)?
- Search the "prior art." Searching will
discover if someone else has already
conceived of your invention, or authored
your article, or thought of the trademark
you plan to use. Searching will also
discover items that are obvious in view
of or that are substantially similar
to the invention,
you created. You may want to search your
invention, even if you plan to keep your
invention a trade secret. Commercially
using your trade secret may infringe
patents held by others.
- Decide on whether or not your creation
is protectible under patent, copyright
or trademark law.
- Decide on where you want to file patent,
copyright or trademark applications. Such
applications can be filed in the United
States and/or foreign countries.
- If your creation is protectible, then
file an application for patent protection,
copyright registration or trademark registration.
Note that computer programs are protectible
under both patent and copyright law.
- The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
or the U.S. Copyright office will contact
you regarding status of your patent, copyright
or trademark application. Respond promptly
to all correspondence received from the
patent or copyright office.
- After your patent, copyright or trademark
application is approved, periodically
pay fees to and periodically file papers
with the patent or copyright office to
maintain the patent active, or to maintain
the copyright or trademark registration.
- Monitor competitor activity to discover
infringers of your issued patent, or registered
copyright or trademark.