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An outline of US Copyright, Patent and Trademark Law

Wikibooks contributors

Date of publication: 2006

Copyrights are rights to copy, distribute, display and perform creative works.

Patents are temporary monopolies granted to inventors by the government, in exchange for public disclosure of how the invention works. A patent is a property right. Essentially, a patent gives the holder the right to exclude others from, among other things, using, selling, and making the claimed invention.

Trademarks are distinguishing devices used by businesses to distinguish their goods and services from those produced by others.

Copyright, Patent and Trademark Law are a basic form of intellectual property.

This text discusses copyright, patent and trademark law as it applies in the United States. This concise presentation necessarily omits a number of important provisions of a very complex area of law.

(From Wikibooks, description text under GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL))

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