Patents, trademarks and copyrights are three types of intellectual property protections.
A patent is a grant made by a government to an inventor assuring him or her the sole right to make, use, and sell his invention for a certain period of time.
A trademark is a word, name, symbol, phrase or slogan, or a combination of these items used to mark and distinguish goods or services to indicate their source or origin.
A copyright protects the writings of an author against copying. Literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works are included within the protection of the copyright law. A copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the work.
The US Patents and Trademarks Office provides information and applicant filing directions for US patent and trademark protection. Registration requires approximately 14 months.
US Department of Commerce
Washington, DC 20231
The California Secretary of State provides information on registration of trademarks and service marks for protection within California only. Registration requires approximately 8 weeks.
1500 11th Street, 2nd Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/contact_trademarks.jsp Contact Information - Trademarks and Service Marks
Monday through Friday-8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (excluding state holidays)
Trademarks and Service Marks
P.O. Box 942877 Sacramento, CA 94277–2870
The US Copyrights Office provides information on Copyright registration current copyright filing fees, and status of copyright application.
US Copyrights Office
101 Independence Ave S.E.
Washington, DC 20559-6000
1 (877) 476–0778 (toll free)