Intellectual Property

Economic and cultural progress in America has long been driven by creation of intellectual property (“IP”) and protecting the creators’ rights. Fundamentally, rights to IP is the idea that you have the right to the creations of your own mind. In fact, this is promised to all American citizens in the 1st Article of the U.S. Constitution, which states “the progress of science and useful arts” is ensured “by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writing and discoveries.” This takes shape in the form of patents, copyright, trademarks, and trade secrets. Each is designed to protect a slightly different facet of intellectual property. Patents protect inventions, discoveries, or new processes developed by a person or organization. Copyright protects an original work, such as artwork or a novel, for the author. Trademarks represent distinctive logos, symbols, or phrases, which are used to distinguish between separate entities or products. Lastly, trade secrets protect confidential information about a particular process, method, or design.