Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights

Patents, trademarks, and copyrights offer protection for creators of intellectual property. 


A patent protects an invention by providing the inventor with a set of exclusive rights which prevent others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention without the consent of the inventor. An intangible idea in itself cannot be patented. The idea must be materialized into an invention, innovative product, device or process that offers new solutions to a problem in order for the applicant to be able to seek a patent.  Patents protect products in the fields of machinery, manufacturing, composition of matter (a combination of chemicals), and processes (methods of manufacturing).


A trademark protects an owner’s right to exclusively use images, logos, phrases or words used to distinguish a particular good or service in the market. Trademarks exist to give consumers confidence that they are getting the quality of product they expect when they purchase an item.


Copyrights protect works of authorship and cover: a) works of art (2 or 3 dimensional), b) photos, pictures, graphic designs, drawings and other forms of images; c) songs, music and sound recordings of all kinds; d) books, manuscripts, publications and other written works; and e) plays, movies, shows, and other performance arts.  

For more information regarding patents, trademarks and copyrights, please contact the Intellectual Resource Management Office.