This chapter addresses four essential components of Intellectual Property as it relates to patents: (1) patents and the patent process, (2) developing a strategy to maximize patent protection for a product or a process, (3) due diligence, and (4) issues of inventorship and ownership. By way of an overview, there are four basic types of Intellectual Property – Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights and Trade Secrets. Patents cover ideas that are novel, non‑obvious, have utility and satisfy the enablement and written description provisions of the U.S. patent Statute. Trademarks cover identification of goods and services. Copyrights protect tangible expression, including writings, computer code, websites and the like. A Trade Secret is a form of intellectual property where secrecy is maintained over a process or an ingredient of a product over a period of time. This chapter will focus almost exclusively on patents.
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