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Drexel Library

Biomedical Technology Commercialization

Resources recommended for creating commercialization plans.

Basic Facts: Trademarks, Patents, and Copyrights

From the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, "this video provides a quick and easy breakdown of the three main types of intellectual property: trademarks, patents, and copyrights. You’ll learn how trademarks differ from domain names and business names. By the end of the video, you’ll understand how to use each type of intellectual property to protect a different aspect of your business."

Software & Mobile Apps

Can you copyright your software or mobile app?

According to WIPO:

"Computer programs and other types of software are considered as literary works for copyright purposes. Therefore they receive automatic protection without the need for registration. In some countries, the process of voluntary registration for software may differ from that for other types of work."

In the majority of countries, and according to the Berne Convention, copyright protection is obtained automatically without the need for registration or other formalities.

Most countries nonetheless have a system in place to allow for the voluntary registration of works. Such voluntary registration systems can help solve disputes over ownership or creation, as well as facilitate financial transactions, sales, and the assignment and/or transfer of rights.

Please note that WIPO does not offer a copyright registration system or a searchable copyright database. Find out more about copyright registration and documentation systems."

Can you patent your app?

According to WIPO:

"Whether you can obtain patent protection for an app depends on which element of your app you wish to protect. If you want to protect a technical idea or feature relating to the app, patent protection is a potential option. Depending on the applicable national law, the software that runs your app may be able to be protected by patents if it has certain technical features. You must be mindful however that your technical idea must meet all of the patentability requirements to obtain patent protection, and it may take years to get a patent.

In addition, it is important to ask yourself which element(s) of your app should be protected from free use by competitors. The software that runs your app can be protected by copyright (potentially also by patents, as described above). If you are interested in protecting logos or signs contained within your app however, you should consider protecting them using trademarks. Literary and artistic works included within your app, such as original databases, musical works, audiovisual works, works of fine art and photographs, are protected by copyright. Graphical objects and layouts can be protected using industrial designs."

See also: Medical Devices, Intellectual Property, and Patents
This libguide will be useful for the students researching on medical devices; it can also be used by researchers, faculty members and students needing information on patents and inventions.

Resources for Intellectual Property Research




Trade Secrets:

From the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Provides an introduction to trade secrets, another form of intellectual property.  Explains what trade secrets are, why they are important, why you should protect them, and how they can impact a business’s bottom line.

Trade secrets are protected without registration and may be protected for an unlimited period of time. Additional information is available from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).