– Patents are used for original products, machines, technical processes or methods, manufactured items and chemical compositions. “Utility patents” for new inventions or functional improvements of existing inventions are effective for 20 years while “design patents” are effective for 14 years.
– Copyrights are used for original writing and musical works and other works of expression give the author exclusive rights to use the works. They are effective for 70 years after the author’s death.
– Trademarks are used for words, symbols, names, internet domain names, packaging and labeling that distinguish one businesses product from another’s. They are effective indefinitely.