Types of Intellectual Property that Entrepreneurs Should Know

Justin Sanders Explains the Different Forms of Intellectual Property
Justin Sanders Explains the Different Forms of Intellectual Property

Justin Sanders, the VP for High Tech and Mechanical Devices at Entralta, gave a very insightful presentation on intellectual property last night for the Center for Entrepreneurship and CSUF Startup Incubator at the CSUF Irvine campus. He covered a lot in his hour long seminar so I’m simply going to give you an overview of his talk here and, hopefully, in the future we will publish key segments from his talk as part of our Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship series.

What are the types of intellectual property?

  • Patents

    • Patents are a “set of exclusive rights in an invention granted for a limited period of time… [and it gives the patent owner the] right to exclude/prevent others from making, using, selling, or importing infringing goods/services.”
    • There are different kinds of patents, including:
      • Utility Patents

        • “Protect structural/functional features of an invention (i.e., the way an invention works).”
      • Design Patents

        • “Protect non-functional, ornamental features of an invention (i.e., the way an invention looks).”
      • Plant Patents

        • “Protect the invention – or discovery and asexual reproduction – of a distinct, new plant other than a tuber or a plant found in the wild. Means of asexual reproduction include cuttings, layering, budding, and grafting but do not include growth from a seed.”
  • Trademarks

    • “Non-functional, distinctive source identifiers used in connection with sale and offer for sale of goods and/or services. [Examples include:] brand names, company names, logos, tag-lines, jingles, product packaging, product shape, product color, store appearance/decor, etc.”
  • Copyrights

    • “Legal right of ownership that arises automatically when an original work of creative authorship is fixed in any tangible medium of expression from which the work can be perceived, reproduced or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a device. Work must be independently created and possess minimal degree of creativity. Work cannot be functional (e.g., undulating Ribbon bicycle rack).”
  • Trade Secrets

    • “Any information that derives independent economic value (actual or potential) from not being generally known to others, so long as reasonable measures (under the circumstances) are taken to maintain secrecy of information; e.g., Coca Cola recipe.”

Justin obviously went in to greater depth on each of these (except for the plant one, either he’s not a fan of plants or it’s just an area of IP law that he doesn’t cover all that frequently; it’s probably the latter) during the talk and I do hope that we will be able to get important segments of this talk published soon. Make sure to keep updated on all events and knowledge that comes out of our program by becoming a CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider.

Until then, here is Justin’s PowerPoint presentation:


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