Utility and design patents are granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Under Title 35 U.S. Code §101 a utility patent protects the way an invention works compared to Title 35 U.S. Code §171 protecting a design based on its appearance.
Don’t confuse a trademark with a patent, copyright or even protection of a domain address. When a person or business entity applies for a trademark, they are seeking protection of the name of their brand and logo on any goods that they sell or services that they render. Trademark applications are approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
In the often-confusing world of intellectual property, business owners and consumers are sometimes flummoxed by minor claims. These occur when logos bear a disturbing resemblance to other logos. Perhaps a screenwriter’s script contains dialogue that is hauntingly familiar. Or new architecture bears striking similarity to older buildings the designer of which is passed away. Whether distinctive symbols or creative content, designs and ideas are easily lifted without legal protections. Creativity, ingenuity and hard work are prized traits in a free economy. Possessors of these virtues have every right to earn–yes, even profit–from the fruits of their imagination and character.
In today’s world, people are more than ever freelancers. Many people realize they will probably not be at a given company for the rest of their lives. Instead, they may choose to change jobs or even start a business of their own. A career can be created out of many things including several part-time jobs. This makes it more important than ever to think about each person’s personal brand. Each person is now in a sense in charge of their own personal way in the world. They are also responsible for creating their own career. Part of being a success in the world is understanding the need to keep one’s ideas under wraps and one’s reputation protected in the business world. Many laws may apply to all aspects of a person’s career.
If you fancy yourself to be an inventor, there’s no better feeling than when you believe you have finally created something that is sure to change the world. Whether it’s a better mousetrap or a high-tech piece of industrial equipment, there will be many decisions to be made before bringing your product to market. One of the most important is determining if you need a patent, since this could ensure you and you alone will have exclusive rights to your invention. But while this process may sound easy, it is often anything but that. To learn more about determining the need for a patent, here are some factors to keep in mind.
Kickstarter brings innovation to a new level with support from others through direct funding of their ideas. Started in 2009, Kickstarter is a public Benefit Corporation, resulting in billions of dollars raised to fund new projects. It is a global crowdfunding platform where successful campaigns have been launched through fifteen categories from eight sections on the kickstarter.com site. The inventors or artists gain funds directly from their audiences this way.