Counsel

Intellectual Property FAQs

Copyright, Trademark, or Patent?

Each of these categories protects a different type of intellectual property by granting the creator/inventor or owner of an original work certain exclusive rights. Without such protection, a work is in the public domain, which  permits others to freely copy that work without permission or attribution of or to the original creators/inventors.

In brief:

  • copyright is intended to protect the creator/author of a creative work (for example, a book)
  • trademark protects  phrases, words, or symbols that identify the source of a product or service (for example, a forecasting tool)
  • patent protects the creator/author of a unique idea (for example, instruments, software, methodology)

At UCAR,

obtaining a patent

  • helps make your work more visible
  • assures you can safely share transformative ideas while preventing others from stealing your research
  • empowers us to go to bat for you to protect what you've created
  • offers the potential to earn royalties


obtaining a trademark

  • protects your work from identity theft by claiming a unique and distinctive name
  • does not provide the protections of a patent


The following pages provide more information about these categories, as well as fair use of copyrighted material and public domain. Please contact us any time - we're here to answer your questions.

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