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Know how to protect your intellectual property

Intellectual property can include almost any kind of creation, from artistic works to designs, symbols or names used in commerce. Your intellectual property is protected by law through patents, copyrights or trademarks, depending on the kind of intellectual property you've created.

Knowing which type of protections are available is important for your intellectual property rights. Here's a little more on the three primary kinds of intellectual property.

1. Trademarks

Trademarks are signs that distinguish the difference between goods or services. For example, if you have a small icon of a cat that represents your pet business, this may be your trademark symbol.

2. Copyrights

Copyrights are the rights you have over your artistic or literary works. The items covered by copyrights can range from paintings to technical drawings and advertisements. Computer programs are often also protected under copyright law.

3. Patents

Patents are a type of intellectual property protection. They are exclusive rights that can be granted to those who have made an invention, either a process or product, that creates a completely new way of doing something or solves a problem in a new way. You must apply for a patent if you want to have one, which requires you to disclose all technical information about your invention to the general public.

Each of these categories defines the kind of intellectual property you have and how you can protect it. Our site has more on patents, copyrights and trademarks and how you can protect your business or property by using each correctly. The right legal information can help you prevent others from taking your work.

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