Intellectual Property Rights Guide

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SEMA-Member Guide to Trademarks, Patents and Copyrights

Getting the most out of your operations includes knowing how to protect the intellectual property rights of your company. Here is an informational guide to help you plan today and get the most out of your company’s IP.

Trademarks, Patents and Copyrights

If you have ever wondered what the difference is between a trademark and a trade secret, you are not alone. Most of the terms used to describe different types of intellectual property (IP) are commonly thrown around interchangeably. However, to protect the IP rights of your company, it is important to take a moment to review the basics of trademark, patent, copyright and trade secret law we have compiled below.
SEMA News—August 2014

By Ashley Ailsworth

Members OnlyIntellectual Property Rights Guide

About this product:

All businesses have tangible assets: buildings, machines, and accounts receivable. Companies have intangible assets too: trademarks, patents, copyrights, reputation, and goodwill. SEMA places a high premium on the protection of trademarks, patents, and copyrights, also known as intellectual property (IP). Through this guide, we will describe these types of IP, the benefits of getting a mark or patent registered with the appropriate federal authorities, the application process, and the benefits of registration.

This content is for SEMA Members only.

This content is for SEMA Members only.

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By obtaining a copyright, a publisher, author, artist and/or composer gains exclusive rights to their production of original, expressive information (an artistic or literary work) for a limited time.

1. What is a copyright?

 The subject matter of copyright includes any original "work of authorship" "fixed in any tangible medium of expression."

 o An author is the creator of the original work.

Examples of Design Patents

The design patent is heavily dependent upon the drawings to communicate the features sought to be protected (as opposed to utility patents which rely on the written word to describe how the good is new and unique).  The focus of the design patent is on the ornamental design of an article, namely, the visual characteristics or aspects of an object.  The filing fee for a design patent starts at $390.00, plus legal fees.  Here are a few examples:

Automobile Hood, SLP Performance Parts, Inc.  [Design Patent No. D418,465]

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