CHAPTER 14 – PATENTS AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
• Within the context of product development, the term intellectual property refers to the legally protectable ideas, concepts,
names, designs, and processes associated with a new product.
• What is intellectual property?
1. Patent: A patent is a temporary monopoly granted by a government to an inventor to exclude other from using an
2. Trademark: a trademark is an exclusive right granted by a government to a trademark owner to use a specific name or
symbol in association with a class of products or services
3. Trade Secret: a trade secret is information used in a trade or business that offers its owner a competitive advantage
and that can be kept secret. A trade secret is not a right conferred by a government but is the result of vigilance on the
part of an organization in preventing the dissemination of its proprietary information.
4. Copyright: it is an exclusive right granted by a government to copy and distribute an original work of expression,
whether literature, graphics, music, art, entertainment, or software. You can register a copyright but it is not necessary.
A copyright comes into being upon the first tangible expression of the work and last for up to 95 years.
• Overview of Patents: Two basic types of patents are relevant:
1. Design patents: Provides the legal right to exclude someone from producing and selling a product with the identical
ornamental design described by the design patent. A design patent can be thought of as a copyright for the ornamental
design of a product. Because design patents must be limited to ornamental design, for most engineered goods, design
patents are of very limited value.
2. Utility patents: US law allows for patenting of an invention that relates to a new process, machine, article of
manufacture, composition of matter, or a new and useful improvement of one of these things. The law requires that
patented inventions be:
Useful: useful to someone in some context