Utility Patent A new, useful, and non-obvious process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new, useful, and non-obvious improvements Grants the right to make, use, sell, import Protected 20 years from date of filing, subject to payment of maintenance fees Plant Patent A distinct and new variety of plant invented or discovered and asexually reproduced Grants the right to make, use, sell, import Protected 20 years from date of filing Design Patent A new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture; the appearance of a functional object Grants the right to make, use, sell, import Protected 14 years from date of grant Trademark A word, name, slogan, symbol, or device that is used in trade to indicate the source of goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others Grants the right to exclusive use Valid as long as the business uses it in commerce, and renews it every 10 years. Copyright Original works of creative expression fixed in any tangible medium, such as writing, software, music, a recording or work of art, photograph, motion picture, or choreography Grants the right to copy, perform, distribute, adapt, display The term of copyright for a particular work depends on several factors, including whether it has been published and, if so, the date of first publication. As a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first. For works first published prior to 1978, the term will vary depending on several factors. Trade Secret Information such as a formula, pattern, process, or device that is not generally known, which a company keeps secret to for its own advantage Grants the right to exclusive use Trade secrets are protected without registration, that is, trade secrets are protected without any procedural formalities. Consequently, a trade secret can be protected for an unlimited period of time.