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Legal & Marketing

               Intellectual Property for

               Beverage Manufacturers

               By: Brian D. Kaider, Esq.
                W          hile many people are familiar with the   1, Section 8, Clause 8), exactly what is patentable

                           four main types of intellectual prop-
                                                                    is the subject of tremendous confusion among the
                           erty: patents, copyrights, trademarks,
                           and trade secrets, often they don’t      U.S. population, examiners at the U.S. Patent and
                                                                    Trademark Office, lawyers, and even judges; some-
               know the distinctions between them or what they      times requiring clarification from the U.S. Supreme
               are meant to protect.  This article is meant to cut   Court.  The purpose behind the grant of a patent
               through the confusion and explain these distinctions  is to encourage innovation by granting exclusive
               and how each property right applies to the bever-    rights to one’s discoveries for a limited time.  In
               age industry.                                        other words, it gives the patent holder a short-term
                                                                    (20 years from the date of filing) monopoly on his
                       Patents Protect Ideas – sort of              invention.  Generally, new machines, chemicals,
                                                                    electronics, methods of production, and in some
                 Most people have a general understanding that      cases, methods of doing business, are eligible for
               a patent protects an “invention” or an idea.  In a   patent protection.
               very general sense, that’s true.  But, even though
               the Congressional authority to grant patent rights     But, not all ideas are patentable.  In fact, ideas
               comes directly from the U.S. Constitution (Article   alone cannot be patented.  They must first be

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