What is a copyright?
A copyright is the grant of protection under the laws of the United States to authors of original works that are fixed in a tangible form of expression. Examples include literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and architectural works. Software may be copyrighted, but may also, in limited circumstances, be patentable.
A copyright owner has the exclusive right to authorize others to reproduce the work, create derivative works, distribute copies of the work, perform the copyrighted work publicly, display the work publicly, and if it is a sound recording, perform the work publicly.
Copyright protection automatically exists from the moment of creation, and a work is created when it is fixed in a tangible form. Therefore, no publication or registration or other action by the Copyright Office is required to secure a copyright. However, copyright registration is required before a copyright infringement suit may be filed.
How long does it take to obtain a patent?
On average, a U.S. patent application is pending for three years before it issues, though inventions in the biotech and computer fields take longer.
What is intellectual property?
Intellectual property includes patentable inventions (for example, new compositions of matter, new methods of using existing materials, new methods of manufacturing a material), copyrightable works (for example, software), and tangible research materials invented, created or discovered by UMass investigators.
How much does it cost to file and obtain a patent?
Filing a U.S. patent application may cost between $8,000 - $12,000 or more. To prosecute the application and obtain an issued patent may easily require double that amount. Filing and obtaining issued patents in a foreign country may cost $20,000 or more for each country. Once a patent issues, periodic maintenance fees are required to keep the patent current.
What is a patent?
A U.S. patent gives the holder the right to exclude others from making, using, selling or offering to sell an invention within the United States for a certain period of time. Unlike copyrights, which exist from the moment the work is created, no patent or inventor rights exists until the patent is issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.