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Which type of protection is right for me?

Recommended For An invention with a function (such as a machine, manufactured item, process, or chemical composition) An ornamental design for a manufactured item that doesn't affect its function (such as a watch face plate) An original creative work (such as a play, novel, song, sculpture, photograph, choreography or architectural plan). A name, logo or symbol used to identify commercial goods or services.
Which federal office issues this protection? U.S. Patent and Trademark Office U.S. Patent and Trademark Office U.S. Copyright Office U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
How long can the benefit/ protection last? Provisional Application: 1 year
Utility Patent: 20 years
14 years Lifetime of the author, plus 70 years. Unlimited, so long as the owner renews every 10 years and continues to use the trademark.
Where is this protection valid and enforceable? Within the U.S. Within the U.S. Within the U.S. Within the U.S.
Are maintenance fees required? Provisional Applications: no
Utility Patents: yes
Design Patents do not require a maintenance fee. Copyrights do not require a maintenance fee. Yes.
Can I renew? No. Design patents are non-renewable. Copyrights are non-renewable. Yes. Trademark protection is renewable every 10 years following the initial registration.
If I don't file an application, do I still have ownership rights? No. No. Without a registered copyright, you still own all rights to your creative work. But with a registered copyright, you can enforce federal copyright protection in court. So long as you are not infringing on another trademark, you can gain rights to the mark simply by using it. But with a registered trademark, you can enforce federal trademark protection.
Who typically applies for this protection? Inventors Inventors and Designers Authors, artists, choreographers, and other creative professionals. Business or product owners.
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