Both patents and trademarks are a form of intellectual property. They are combined on this one guide because they share a government office - the US Patent and Trademark Office.
While copyright is usually the most notable form of intellectual property for students and educators, this guide provides resources for those seeking to obtain a patent or trademark, as well as those doing research on existing patents and trademarks or curious about the process as a whole.
Patents cover useful items - ranging from sponges to shoelaces to smartphones.
Trademarks cover symbols, designs, logos, or phrases. They're used to differentiate business companies from each other. You can think of trademarks as things that are too "small" to copyright, such as a fast food slogan or prominent university school color.