Forms of IP



Trade Secret



Functional features of processes, products, or composition of matter Word, name, symbol, design, logo or a combination thereof.
Trademarks (™) are used in connection with hard goods, e.g. cars, clothing, electronic equipment, food, etc.
Service Marks (SM) are used in connection with intangible services, e.g., education, business consulting, financial planning, legal, medical services, etc.
Formula, pattern, physical device, idea, process of compilation of information that provides the owner of the information with a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Original works of authorship


Rights dependent on federal government grant Common law rights based on use.
Statutory rights dependent on federal and/or state government grant; registration provides benefits.
Can enforce rights in a common law mark, but the bundle of rights is larger for a registered mark
State law Statutory rights dependent on federal government grant. Registration provides benefits. Cannot enforce copyright absent valid registration


Patent  ####### or Pat. ####### or Pat. Pending ####### ® only for registered marks or for common law or marks the subject of a pending application N/A © for common law and registered copyrights


Utility Patent: 20 years from filing or 17 years from issue
Design Patent: 14 years from issue
Common law rights so long as the mark used in commerce.Statutory rights granted for 10-year renewable terms So long as treated in a way that can reasonably expected to prevent the public or competitors from learning about it, absent improper acquisition or theft Life of author plus 70 years. For anonymous, pseudonymous and works made for hire: 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation


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