Patent and Trademark Law in United States

Patent is a kind of document that is issue by the government to present special rights and privileges. In the United States the term patent is also used in inventions, it is granted by the federal statute. A patent that is given to the inventor makes him/her to receive exclusive privileges to make, use, and sell a specific product or device for a specified period of time (Patent, 1997). Purpose of Patent

In the law of the United States, patent is given to anyone for the invention or discovery of any new and useful art, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter; for the invention of asexual reproduction of distinct and new variety of plant, and ornamental design for the article of manufacture. In 1800, patent also covers the methods and products of genetic engineering. Patent is also granted to computer-implemented processes, and to mathematical algorithm.

Patent is granted on the filing of the complete application, and payment of fees and after determination is made that the disclosure is completed and the invention is new and useful (Patent, 1997). Patent is issue under the name of the U. S. and the seal of the Patent and Trademark Office . It is consists of a short title, with the printed copy of the specification and claims, a patent number, and the grant to patentee and his or her heirs and the assignees for a period of 17 years.

In the case of design patent, the period of patent is 14 years. The patent must be applied personally by the inventor, if two or more parties make the invention, they all must apply the patent together. If the inventor dies or become mentally incapable before making the application, a legal representative must be the one to make the application (Jones and Stacy, 1971). Trademark

Trademark is a symbol, such as word, number, picture or design that is use by the manufactures or merchant for them to be able to identify their own goods and to distinguish them from other goods that are sold or made by others. The name of a type of product cannot be use as trademark because every marker of the product is open to use its name. For example, Sony, it is well-known trademark for television, radios, and audio equipment, but no one can have trademark rights to the word television or radio.

Words are intended to be used as trademark by the manufacturers for the new products were used by customers to name the products (Trademark, 1997). Attach to a registered mark is a certain exclusive rights, it can be enforce by the way of an action for the infringement of trademark, while the unregistered rights can be enforced pursuant to a common law tort of passing off (Anonymous, 1995).

The symbol of trademark is ™ and the symbol for the registered trademark is ®, these two symbols represent the status of a mark and its level of protection. Trademark symbol can be used with any common law usage of a mark, and the registered trademark symbol can only be usewd by the owner of the mark that follows the registration with the relevant national autority, such as the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) (Anonymous, 1995, Tysver, 2008).