Intellectual Property Frequently Asked Questions

What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property is any innovation, commercial or artistic, or any unique name, symbol, logo or design used commercially. Often known as IP, intellectual property allows people to own their creativity and innovation in the same way that they can own physical property.

What can qualify as IP is vast and varied. Some examples of intellectual property include:

Brand names such as “NIKE”, “PEPSI” and the “GAP”
The formula used by Coca Cola to produce its signature cola
Software produced by Microsoft
Motivational or exercise DVDs and tapes
The Harry Potter books written by J. K. Rowling
The computer hardware technology of Hewlett Packard

A common misconception is that only technology companies need to be concerned about intellectual property protection. As you can see from the list above, valuable intellectual property comes in many forms and is not limited to technology. A few other types of intellectual property that may surprise you include customer lists, business plans, methods of doing business, processes for obtaining a product or end result, and designs.

What is the difference between a patent, copyright and trademark?

A patent is a grant from the federal government that gives an inventor the right to exclude others from making, using, selling or importing his invention.

A copyright grants a right to exclude others from copying, selling, performing, displaying or making derivative versions of a work of authorship like music, a book, or a piece of art.

A trademark registration grants the exclusive right to use a brand name , design, slogan, sound, smell or any other symbol used to identify and market goods and services.

Why should I choose Cislo & Thomas LLP?

Cislo & Thomas LLP strives to provide the highest quality intellectual property legal service for its clients. We have implimented a program, known as Quality Client Care® or QCC®.

The QCC® Team approach ensures each client will be guided by Intellectual Property professionals who have extensive experience with clearance, counseling, prosecution, licensing and litigation to ensure that all aspects of his or her intellectual property needs are addressed. Through your QCC® team you will receive a dedicated, prompt response to all client communications, and quick completion of requested projects with timely follow-ups, status reports, and check-ins to make sure your needs are being met.

The objective of Cislo & Thomas’s QCC® Policy is to institutionalize and ensure continued quality relationships with clients that protect their interests to the greatest extent possible over the full range of intellectual property issues.