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Today’s business landscape is highly competitive and crowded. Everyone is searching for an ideal market strategy to help them stand out from the competition. While trying to achieve this, the last thing you want is for another person or business to use or reproduce your work without your permission.

Patents, trade secrets, service marks, trademarks, and copyrights are important intellectual property (IP) tools used by individuals and business entities to distinguish their products, services, or brands and protect their original works and ideas. However, the kinds of protections afforded by each IP tool are relatively different.

COFFYLAW, LLC is dedicated to providing knowledgeable legal guidance and strong representation to clients in intellectual property-related matters. Attorney Emmanuel Coffy is ready to educate you about the differences between patents, service marks, copyrights, and trademarks, as well as the protections offered by each of them.

The experienced New Jersey intellectual property team at COFFYLAW, LLC has the insight to guide you through every phase of the process and help ensure a seamless and successful application. With offices in New Jersey and New York, COFFYLAW, LLC proudly represents clients nationwide.

Protecting Intellectual Property

New products and innovative solutions are designed by different companies across the country every year. Original works of authorship — books, movies, scientific research, music, architecture, and computer software — are also created. By making use of one or more intellectual property tools, you can protect your company’s name, creative ideas, inventions, original creations, logo, and content. Below, you’ll find a brief explanation of the various types of intellectual property tools, along with examples of each.

Trade Secrets

Trade secrets can be a great asset for startups. They are cost-effective and last for as long as the trade secret maintains its confidential status and derives value through its secrecy. A trade secret right allows the owner of the right to take action against anyone who breaches an agreement or confidential relationship, or who steals or uses other improper means to obtain secret information. Trade secrets can range from computer programs to customer lists to the formula for Coca-Cola.


A trademark is an intellectual property tool that protects the brand names, symbols, words, phrases, logos,  and designs used on the goods and services offered by your company from being registered by another business without your permission.

What Can Be Trademarked?

Anything that can be used to distinguish your goods, services, and company from others. These include:

  • Product names
  • Business names
  • Devices
  • Logos
  • Colors
  • Slogans
  • Designs
  • Taglines
  • Sound marks
  • Words
  • Phrases
  • Symbols

Examples of Trademarks

Some common examples of registered trademarks include:

  • Google®
  • McDonald’s® 
  • Twitter®
  • Head & Shoulders®
  • Nike®
  • Apple®
  • Coca-Cola® 
  • Facebook®
  • Just do it®
  • Dolce & Gabbana®

An experienced trademark attorney can walk you through every legal step involved in registering a trademark and see that your application is successful.

Service Marks

A service mark is a trademark that is used to identify or distinguish services offered by a particular business from another. Just like trademarks, you can use a service mark to protect the symbols and words you use to identify your business or services, including logos, phrases, names, and slogans.

Examples of Service Marks

Some common examples of registered service marks include:

  • Google℠
  • Hawaiian Airlines℠
  • Facebook℠
  • FedEx℠
  • UPS Delivery Intercept℠

A knowledgeable service marks lawyer can inform you about the benefits of registering a service mark and guide you through the application process from start to finish.


A patent is an authority, license, or right granted by the federal government to an inventor, giving the inventor the legal rights to exclude other companies from making, using, selling, or importing the invention for a particular period.

Types of Patents

Some common types of patents include:

  • Design patents
  • Software patents
  • Mechanical patents
  • Plant patents
  • Method and process patents
  • Utility patents
  • Electrical engineering patents
  • E-commerce system patents

Examples of Patents

Some common examples of patents include:

  • Google PageRank
  • The computer
  • The internal combustion engine
  • The electric lightbulb
  • Bluetooth
  • iPhone
  • The telephone
  • 3D printer
  • The maglev (Magnetic Levitation)

A skilled patent law attorney can guide you through the application process from start to finish and help you make informed decisions.


copyright is an intellectual property tool that is used to protect original works of authorship, including music, art, dramatic performances, literary works, and other creative expressions. With a copyright, you can prevent other persons from copying your original works and creative ideas.

What Can Be Protected Using a Copyright?

You can use copyright to protect different original works such as, but not limited to:

  • Novels
  • Songs
  • Computer software and programs
  • Poetry
  • Movies
  • Advertisements
  • Sculptures
  • Technical drawings
  • Paintings
  • Databases
  • Books
  • Architecture

Copyright Owner’s Rights

If you are the author or owner of an original work or the holder of the copyright, you will have the rights to:

  • Display the work publicly
  • Reproduce and make copies of an original work
  • Perform the work publicly
  • Distribute copies to the public by sale or control how the works are transferred to others, such as by sale, lending, rental, or lease
  • Create derivative works based on the original work, such as a spin-off or sequel
  • Perform sound recordings publicly through digital audio transmission

If you need proper guidance in filing an application for a patent, service mark, trademark, or copyright, or if your protected works were stolen or used without your permission, you should speak with a knowledgeable IP law attorney immediately. Your lawyer can help you take legal action, file claims on your behalf, and help pursue your rightful financial compensation.

How an Experienced Attorney Can Help

Navigating intellectual property matters involving patents, service marks, trademarks, or copyrights is complicated. It is important that you consult with an experienced intellectual property for proper guidance and to help you make intelligent decisions.

The team at COFFYLAW, LLC has the expertise, experience, and resources to advise and assist individuals and businesses through the complexities of intellectual property. Using extensive knowledge, attorney Emmanuel Coffy is able to educate you about how each intellectual property tool works and determine the right protection you need.

Whether you are filing an application for a patent, service mark, copyright, or trademark, or you need to defend your business against an intellectual property lawsuit, attorney Emmanuel Coffy can offer you the effective legal guidance and representation you need in every phase of the legal process.

Contact COFFYLAW, LLC today to schedule a simple consultation. With offices in New Jersey and New York, COFFYLAW, LLC proudly represents clients throughout the United States.

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