What are the various types of IP?


 A patent for an invention grants “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention or importing the invention into the country where patent rights exist. Patentable subject matter includes new compounds, methods, plants, and software. Obtaining a patent can take many years and significant expense. Learn more at the UC Berkeley Patent Website.


Copyright protects the effort that goes into creating “original works of authorship” and art by providing exclusive rights to the copyright owner (who is not necessarily the author or artist) for a limited, time. The types of “work of authorship” are very broad – from the writings and artwork you expect to things like choreography, web pages, computer programs, databases, architectural drawings and boat hull designs. Learn more at the UC Berkeley Copyright Website.

Trade and Service Marks

A trademark is a word, name, symbol, or device that is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others. A service mark is the same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. The terms “trademark” and “mark” are commonly used to refer to both trademarks and service marks.

Trademark rights may be used to prevent others from using a “confusingly similar” mark, but not to prevent others from making the same goods or from selling the same goods or services under a clearly different mark. Trademarks which are used in interstate or foreign commerce may be registered with the US Patent & Trademark Office. Some UCB trademark matters, such as trademark registration and licensing of UC Berkeley’s name and trademarks, are administered by UCB’s Business Contracts and Brand Protection - found here.

Trade Secrets

Trade secrets are confidential information, methods, machinery etc. that provide a business competitiveness. UCB generally does not assert rights to the "know-how" or a trade secret held by the faculty. UCB occasionally may maintain, transfer and/or receive confidential information under secrecy agreements. UCB, however, does not generally license know-how or trade secrets.