Intellectual property is the broad term for creations of the human mind. IP rights protect the interest of the creators by giving them property rights over their creations. IP comes in many forms such as literary, artistic and scientific works. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the federal agency responsible for granting patents and registering trademarks. Becoming familiar with the services of the USPTO will help you to manage your IP and develop a solid and useful IP strategy.
In all matters, it is essential that you preserve the confidentiality of your idea while working with third-party interests. Take time to educate yourself on what constitutes IP and how to protect it. Find out what kind of IP protection you need by using the USPTO’s IP Awareness Assessment Tool. The tool guides you through questions and returns a report to you about which IP areas, i.e. patents, trademarks, etc. you may need to apply to your business.
The following are some links to get you started.