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Patents, Trademarks, and Copyright: General

What is intellectual property, anyway? Find out here.

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Intellectual Property

What is Intellectual Property?*

Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.

Intellectual property is divided into two categories: Industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source; and Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs. For an introduction to IP for non-specialists see:

The WIPO Intellectual Property Handbook offers a comprehensive introduction to the policy, law and use of IP. 

*World Intellectual Property Organization website.

 The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the government agency for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks. 

The United States Copyright Office is responsible for administering copyright laws, registering copyrights, the recordation of title and licenses and other aspects of the 1976 Copyright Act and the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act.. 

The Smithtown Library has been designated as a Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) by the United States Patent Office.