Protection of Intellectual Property

What are copyrights, patents and trademarks?

They are protections granted by the Federal or Foreign government. 

Copyright

Grants the author exclusive rights over their literary works, graphs, pictures, sculptures, architectural works, computer programs, sound recordings, dramatic works, videos, films and other creative works. Copyright is the exclusive right to reproduce copies of the work, to prepare derivative works based on the copyrighted work, to distribute copies of copyrighted works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly, and to display the copyrighted work publicly. A copyright protects the method of expression for the ideas; therefore, the creative work must be in some tangible form of expression such as a writing, recording or picture.

The "idea" expressed in a copyrighted work is not protected.

Patent

It gives the owner of an invention a limited monopoly – the right to exclude others from making, using or selling it for a period of time. In most countries including the U.S., this period is 20 years from the date of filing. Just because you obtain a patent doesn't necessarily mean that one can practice it. There may be other patents that dominate it and can thus block practicing it unless there are rights granted to use it.

Trademark

Is a name, design, symbol, or other indicia that distinguishes goods or services from one source from goods or services of another source.