There are three main kinds of intellectual property, and all three are protected: Copyrights Copyrights protect expressive arts. This means that owners have rights to reproduce their work and display it as they see fit, and also have the right to benefit financially from their work. Copyrights prevent other people from financially benefiting from the owner’s work without permission from the owner. Patents Patents protect inventions for a certain period of time just like a personal injury lawyer in Houston would a bus patron who had been injured in an accident. They protect a particular invention from being produced, sold and made by others. Examples of patents include the utility patent, which protect inventions that have a specific function; design patents, which protect the way a manufactured entity appears; and plant patents, which protect different kinds of hybrid plants. The only way for an inventor’s device to be patented is for their device to be approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office. However, because the Patent and Trademark Office receives hundreds if not thousands of new requests every day, it can take several months for a request to be reviewed, let alone approved. As your invention is being reviewed, you would be wise to consult with an intellectual property attorney in the meantime to protect your invention and make a profit out of it. Trademarks Trademarks protect the names and symbols of products and businesses. This makes it very easy for people and consumers to tell companies and businesses apart from one another, while also helping prevent faux companies from pretending to be a real one. Once a company begins using a name or symbol to identify themselves, it will automatically become a trademark and they won’t need to file it with the government. Intellectual property rights are important, and these laws are designed to ensure that they are protected. If you ever come into conflict with any of these, immediately seek the help of an intellectual property lawyer. With the help of a lawyer, you can sue for any lost funds or royalties you otherwise would have gained, and the individual or organization who did violate your property rights will have to fully compensate you.