International Business Lawyers Connection

Corporations           Trademarks      Contracts

What are Trademarks, Copyrights, Trade Secrets and Patents?

Attorney Michelle L. Grenier

Focusing on Business, the Whole Business and

Nothing but the Business.

Trademark Attorney, Contract Attorney, Corporation Attorney

Michelle Grenier, Esq., Trademark Attorney, Contract Attorney, Corporation Attorney

 
 
Michelle L. Grenier, Esq.
 
Small Business Lawyer, Trademark Attorney and Executive Contract Lawyer.
 
Martindale-Hubbell®
Client Review Rating: “Preeminent” (5 out of 5)
 Peer Review Rating:  4.7 out of 5
 
Michelle L. Grenier, Legal Strategist for Top Growing Businesses, provides information,  guidance and services for small businesses:
 

Taking small businesses From Startup:

to Operation:

and Exit, Sale or Transfer:
 
 

Follow Me

Legal Info for Businesses

Business Checklists

Understanding Agreements

Want to Discuss your Business Issues? Click here to speak to Michelle Grenier and/or schedule a consultation.

Subscribe to our blog

Michelle L. Grenier, Esq.

Business Lawyer, Trademark Lawyer and Executive Contract Lawyer

What are Trademarks, Copyrights and Trade Secrets?

What is the difference between Trademarks, Copyrights and Trade Secrets?

PROTECT YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

Intellectual property (for example, trademarks, written materials, recipes, etc.) can be a company's most valuable asset and the acquisition, transfer, license or right to use such intellectual property is often an essential element in many business transactions.  Recently, lenders, investors and financial institutions have considered and requested intellectual property assets as collateral to secure company obligations and financing.

Intellectual property assets may be protected as patents, copyrights, trademarks or trade secrets.  In addition, intellectual property may be protected based on theories and principles of unfair competition.  The applicability and availability of such protection depends upon the specifics of the intellectual property and the type of protection desired.  Also one or more than one form of protection may be applicable and available to certain intellectual property.  For example, patent, copyright and trade secret protection is often applicable to software programs.

Contact a Trademark Lawyer, Michelle DelMar, Esq. to discuss your options with regard to protecting your copyrights and trademarks.

 

Why Hire a Trademark Attorney?

WHAT IS A TRADEMARK?

"What is a Trademark?": Generally: Typically a trademark is a name or word capable of distinguishing goods or services of one source from those of other sources. Other examples of trademarks include: a symbol, logo, graphic design, phrase, series of letters, set of numbers, three dimensional object, fragrance, distinctive design of container, series of sounds, a telephone nhttp://www.contactmylawyer.com/blog/more-what-is-a-trademarkumber, distinctive combination of colorshttp://www.contactmylawyer.com/blog/more-what-is-a-trademark. Function is not protected by trademark.

CLICK HERE for MORE ABOUT "WHAT IS A TRADEMARK?"

 

WHAT IS A TRADE SECRET?

"What is a Trade Secret?"; Generally. Trade secrets are protected by civil and criminal law.  A trade secret can be any formula, pattern, device or compilation of information or other know-how that is used in a business, and gives that business an opportunity to obtain an advantage over competitors who do not have or use that secret.  Some examples of trade secrets include: confidential business information such as new product lines or marketing initiatives and customer lists, formulae for chemical compounds, processes of manufacture, patterns for machines or other devices. 

Click here to LEARN MORE ABOUT TRADE SECRETS .  

 

WHAT IS A COPYRIGHT?

Federal law governs most copyrights, specifically the 1976 Copyright Act and its amendments. Copyrights are exclusive rights to original works of authorship, that is, the EXPRESSION of an idea, not the idea itself, referred to in this article as "Works."

RELATED ARTICLES

 

"What is a copyright?": Duration of Copyrights
The duration of copyright protection depends upon details regarding the author(s), the date upon which the work was created and the date of registration with the US Copyright Office. For works created after January 1, 1978 the following terms apply. These terms may not be renewed or extended.

A work of an individual author is protected for the life of the author plus fifty years.
Joint works prepared by two or more authors are protected for the life of the last surviving author plus fifty years.

Anonymous works, pseudonymous works and works made for hire are protected for 75 years from the date of publication or 100 years after creation, whichever is shorter.
Also, restoration of copyright protection is available for certain works of foreign origin that have fallen into the public domain in the United States, but are still subject to valid copyright in their source countries.

"What is a copyright?"; Formalities
Since 1989, federal law has not required the formalities of notice or registration to establish copyrights. However, it is still advisable to apply a copyright notice to each copy of a Work and to register copyrights in a Work.

The copyright notices may be made via use of the word "copyright" or the copyright symbol "©"; the year of first publication; and the copyright owner's name. Notice can prevent inadvertent infringement, deter deliberate infringement and preclude the innocent infringer defense.

"WHAT IS A COPYRIGHT?"; THE VISUAL ARTS: MORAL RIGHTS

The 1990 Visual Artists Rights Amendment to the Copyright Act grants to the author of a work of visual art the rights of attribution and integrity for the life of the author.  This right applies to no other type of copyrightable Work.

Right of Attribution: allows an author to claim authorship of a Work and to prevent the use of his or her name to be attributed to Visual Art Work not created by that author.

Right of Integrity: This right allows an author to prevent the use of his or her name as author of the Visual Art Work in the event the Work is distorted, mutilated or modified, where such attribution would prejudice the author's honor or reputation.

Although partially preempted by the Visual Artists Rights Amendment to the Copyright Act, the Massachusetts Art Preservation law, provides protection for rights of attribution and integrity in "fine art" during the author's lifetime and for fifty years after the death of the author.

"What is a copyright?":  International Copyright Conventions
The United States is a party to the Universal Copyright Convention ("UCC"), the Berne Convention, the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights ("TRIPs") and the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization ("WTO").

 

Click here for Copyright Registration Checklist.

 

Michelle DelMar, Esq., can help you register your trademark or copyright and protect your trade secrets.

 

Contact us and Request a Free Easy-to-Understand Outline of the differences between Copyrights, Trademarks and Patents.

Click here to schedule a Consultation with an experienced Trademark Lawyer, Copyright Lawyer and Trade Secret Lawyer, Michelle DelMar, Esq.

Boston Business Lawyer, Maine Business Lawyer, Portland Maine Business Lawyer, Boston Business Attorney, Maine Business Attorney, Copyright Lawyer, Trademark Lawyer, Portland Maine Business Attorney, Trade Secret Lawyer

Boston Business Lawyer Maine Business Lawyer

 

This may be considered advertising under the Massachusetts and Maine Rules of Professional Conduct.

© 2014 Grenier Law Offices, PC. All rights reserved. Boston Business Lawyer, Massachusetts, USA 617.728.9800 | Maine Business Lawyer, Portland, Maine 207.878.8777

Similar posts
  • Understanding the Joint Venture AgreementUnderstanding the Joint Venture Agreement A well-drafted Joint Venture Agreement is key to successful multi-party projects.  It is essential that all participants understand their rights and obligations and the rights, obligations and expectations of all other participants.
  • Understanding Contracts.Understanding contracts.  What is a contract?   GET IT IN WRITING . . . BEFORE YOU COMMIT YOUR VALUABLE MONEY, TIME AND EFFORTS. A contract is a promise or set of promises, for breach of which the law gives a remedy, or the performance of which the law in some way recognizes as a duty. Risk. The [...]

Trademarks, Contracts, Corporations A-Z Helpful Information

Posts by Tag