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Patents and Trademarks

Provides an introduction to patents, how to search for patents, & basic information on trademarks.

Trademarks and Related Items

A TRADEMARK can be any word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination of these things that identifies your goods or services. It’s how customers recognize you in the marketplace and distinguish you from your competitors. The term "trademark" can refer to both trademarks and service marks. Trademarks are used for goods and SERVICE MARKS are used to identify services
Trademark General Information 
Trademark Searching is available through the U.S. Trademark Database (TESS).  Use this to search for a keyword such as robotic, a product name such as Roomba, or an owner name such as Red Bull.
USPTO Design Search Code Manual shows the classification of trademark designs.  Use this to find a category (such as 18 for transportation, 18.09.01 for airplanes) and then go back to TESS Free Form search and follow the rules for searching 180901[dc] to retrieve designs and info.
Some related intellectual property terms:
  • TRADE NAME, also called brand name, are used by companies to identify their business. They are not as protected as trademarks but are protected from infringement.
  • TRADE SECRET, is a process or formula with unique characteristics that is protected by keeping them secret. For more information see the USPTO's Trade Secret Policy.
  • COPYRIGHT is protection for the expression of an idea, artistic work or intellectual work. See Library of Congress Copyright Office.

Table with differences between trademark, patent, and copyright.

From: https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/basics/trademark-patent-copyright 

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