Type of intellectual protection

Intellectual Property refers to certain creative endeavors and creations of the mind like inventions, literary, musical and artistic works as well as symbols, names, images, designs and marks used in trade.,

Different types of intellectual property

These rights have legal recognition and are similar to receiving a title to a piece of land or owning real estate. They are construed so as to prevent others from using them and can be ceded, sold or licensed much the same as property.

Official Patent

An official patent gives to an inventor, exclusive rights on the invention for a period of 20 years. In general, the complete process for obtaining an official patent can be spread over a period of between 18 and 24 months.

Provisional Patent: If the development of your idea or invention is not completely finished, it is recommended to precede your official patent application by filing a provisional patent. Deposited at the U.S. patent and trademark office (USPTO) the provisional patent grants to its holder a priority date valid for 12 months and recognized in more than 120 countries. This temporary protection is not very expensive and enables one to reveal ones invention with peace of mind, to develop it, carry out market research and/or interest potential partners or investors. The majority of independent inventors use the provisional patent as a preliminary step towards obtaining their official patents.

Copyright

Poems, paintings, musical works, services, board games and computer programs are examples of creative work which are invaluable, even if paradoxically nobody is able to establish their true value. Some creations can be worth a fortune on the market while others struggle to make anything at all.

Independent of their real commercial value, all these original creations can be protected by a copyright under Canadian law. A copyright confers on a poem, song, music, play or other works certain rights under copyright law. This law, quite simply prohibits anyone from copying any work which you are the creator or author of without your consent or authorization. The objective of this law is similar to that of others to do with intellectual property: it protects copyright holders whilst favoring creativity and information exchange.

Design Patent

An Industrial Design is one that concerns the visual characteristics attributed to the form, the patterns, design and the decorative elements of a manufactured object or product.

An Industrial Design patent is a legal document which procures exclusive rights or monopoly over the design for a period of 14 years in the United States and 10 years in Canada, renewable for a further period of 5 years. The complete process for obtaining a design patent can be spread over a period and take as long as 12 months. Once you receive the design patent, no one can manufacture, sell or use your design/invention without your permission. This monopoly is valid for only the countries it was granted in.

Trademark

It is a symbol or a drawing or a combination of these elements which serve to distinguish the products or services offered by one company on the market from others. Representing the producer’s reputation, the trademark is regarded as very important intellectual property.

The process and follow-up for a trademark application are the same in the U.S. and Canada with the exception of the duration. In Canada a registered trademark gives exclusive right to this mark for 15 years an is renewable for every further 15 year period as long as the mark is always in use. In the United States this exclusive right is for 10 years and renewable every 10 year period thereafter.

Integrated Circuit Topography

Integrated Circuit Topography refers to the three-dimensional configuration of the electronic circuits used in microchips and semiconductor chips.

Registration offers you exclusive rights for 10 years on your original circuit design. Roughly, it is a topographical map of the circuitry. People often confuse printed circuit boards and integrated circuits, commonly known as chips or microchips. The maps comprise numerous elements, notably integrated circuits. Topographies which can be registered are those which are created using original and creative thought and not those which are a reproduction of another with simple changes or additions. Protection ends on 31st of December of the tenth year following the first year of commercial exploitation or the year of the date of the filing request, whichever comes first.