The Four Key Types of Intellectual Property

Before discussing the specific types of intellectual property that are likely to be developed and used by various business departments, a brief introduction to the key types of intellectual property is useful. Intellectual property generally is viewed as comprising four separate but often overlapping types of property rights: trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets.

Trademarks

The names, designs, slogans, or other devices by which a company identifies its products and services can be among the most valuable assets a company owns. Most American consumers can readily fill in the blank in the following slogan: ''Just Do .'' Nearly all consumers can easily hum the tune that accompanies the words ...

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