“It’s No Surprise: Your Own Copyright Registration Can Be Prior Art,” William S. Nabors, Esq.

The differences between copyrights, trademarks, and patents can be confusing to a person who lacks experience with intellectual property, as illustrated in In Re Lister, in which an inventor may have been confused by the differences between copyrights and patents when he first obtained a copyright registration for a manuscript disclosing his invention. The filing of that copyright application may have undermined the inventor’s ability to obtain a patent on his invention.

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