Intellectual Property, also called Intangible Property, encompasses the realm of human ideas and concepts that are protectable under law, including:
Patents provide protection for a wide variety of tangible things and methods for making or using those things. Patents grant the right to control who makes, sells or offers to sell, imports or uses the protected item or method. Special types of patents are available to protect plant varieties and designs. Design patents protect only the surface decoration or shape of an item and do not prevent another from copying the function or the functional parts of a design. A utility patent protects the structure and/or functional features of a technological advance.
Copyright protects forms of human expression against unauthorized copying that is not otherwise permitted by fair uses of the expression. The protected forms of expression include textual works such as books, visual works such as paintings and photographs, three-dimensional works such as sculptures and other designs, musical recordings and compositions, multimedia works such as audio/video productions, and computer programs.
Trademarks and Service Marks provide protection for names used to identify a product or service that distinguish the particular producerís goods or services from others.
Trade Secrets are information or items proprietary to a business that the business takes steps to keep from public knowledge.
Unfair competition is not an intangible property, per se, but false advertising and competitive practices that violate pricing regulations and other statutes are generally considered within the realm of intellectual property protection.
While my practice is primarily focused on obtaining patent protection for manufacturers of electronic/electromechanical devices and systems as well as computer software, if you have an issue or question about protections available in any of the areas above, feel free to contact me.