FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS A PATENT?

A patent is a property right granted by a government that provides an inventor or assignee the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell, or importing a claimed invention for a limited time. Subject to a few exceptions, a patent is available for any product or process that is useful, new, and non-obvious.

WHAT IS A TRADEMARK?

A trademark is a word, phrase, design, or combination used to identify and distinguish a source of a product of one party from those of other parties.  A service mark is similar to a trademark except a service mark pertains to identifying and distinguishing a source of a service as opposed to a product.  Generally speaking, however, the term “trademark” is often used to refer to both a trademark and a service mark.

WHAT IS A PROVISIONAL PATENT APPLICATION?

A provisional patent application establishes an early filing date for a later filed non-provisional patent application.  A provisional patent application is not examined and cannot alone result in a patent.  In other words, a provisional patent application serves as a placeholder in time.

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