what they are, what they protect
In plain language, utility patents
("patents") protect inventions. Patents protect industrial processes,
consumer products, computer hardware & software, machines, materials, methods
of doing business, and more.
To be patentable an invention must be both
new and nonobvious in comparison to what is known, and that includes
anything described in prior patents, in printed publications, on the Internet,
and much more.
To be patentable, the subject matter must also have been invented the the applicant. This requirement absolutely
excludes patenting someone else's invention whether or not that person files
his or her own patent application.
U.S. patent protection provides the right
to exclude others from making, using and selling the invention defined in
the issued patent claims, in the U.S. and its territories, during the life of
Design patents protect only the
appearance of an article. The appearance protected is that shown in the
drawings of a design patent.
patent topics -
meaningful patent protection, patent-application
application examination, patent
patent or trade
secret it, patent
Trade secrets protect business-confidential
information which could be product ingredients, manufacturing processes,
customer lists, and more, provided they are maintained as secrets.
Trade secrets do not protect against reverse
Trade secret protection is insufficient
if the secret can be determined from the public domain product.
other trade secret topics -
patent or trade secret it
contact the firm
(all contact modes)
or call 312.419.8055
or back to
Patent Services Entry,
Patent Applications Entry