ADMS 4245 Lecture Notes - Design Patent, Trade Secret
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
Novel: Are those that are not known publicly and therefore are not evident in existing products, publications,
or prior patents. In the US, an invention to be patented must not have been revealed to the public more than a
year before the patent is filed.
Nonobvious: patent law defines obvious inventios as those that would be clearly evident to those with
“ordinary skill in the art” who faced the same problem as the inventor
•Barriers to obtaining a patent
1. the requirements that a product be useful is easily met
2. The requirements than an invention be novel and nonobvious are the most common barriers
3. About two-thirds of applications filed for patents result in issued patents. However, an issued patent is not necessarily
4. A patent might be challenged in court by a competitor at some point in the future
5. The validity of a patent is determined by, among other factors, the adequacy of the description in the patent and the
novelty of the invention relative to the prior art.
•Patent Owner rights
1. Offensive right: requires that the patent owner sue the infringer
2. Defensive right: Any invention described in a patent, whether part of the claimed invention or not, is considered by the
legal system to be known publicly and forms part of the prior act. This disclosure is a defensive act blocking a
competitor from patenting the disclosed invention
•Preparing a Disclosure: this chapter is focused on a process for preparing an invention disclosure (a detailed description of an
invention). This disclosure will be in the form of a patent application, which can serve as a provisional patent application and
with relatively little additional work could be a regular patent application.
1. Step 1: Formulate a strategy and Plan
2. Step 2: Study prior inventions
3. Step 3: Outline claims
4. Step 4: Write the description of the invention
5. Step 5: Refine claims
6. Step 6: Pursue application
7. Step 7: Reflect on the results and the process