Information on U.S. and international patents and trademarks is featured here. For copyright information look to the Library of Congress and the U.S. Copyright Office.
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The United States Patent and Trademark Office issues patents to protect an inventor's exclusive right to profit from his or her own ideas. For a fixed, non renewable period of time, the inventor can exclude all others from making, using, or selling the invention without authorization. To receive a patent, an invention must be new and useful or significantly different from previous inventions of its type. The government currently issues three types of patents: utility, design, and plant patents. To learn more, see these pages from USPTO:
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A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. To learn more, see these publications:
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