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Protecting Your Assets > How Do You Protect Your Assets? - Pg. 159

A Primer on Intellectual Property 159 Source code, object code, machine code, firmware, any concepts, ideas, methods, processes, or documents related to the creation of software or game concepts, including characters, storylines, drawings, business plans and methods, marketing plans or cus- tomer lists, databases, and so forth. Copyright Anything that can be fixed in a tangible medium (including computer media): source, object and machine code, certain automated databases, artwork, design docs, budgets, and business plans, some UI and program structure, sequence and organization. Trademark Company name, logo, name of games and technology, distinctive branding sounds or colors. Names, character designs and slogans of original IP, characters, weapons, and other valuable marks. Utility Patent Applied algorithms, display presentation, menu arrangement, editing functions, control functions, user interface features, compiling techniques, program languages, translation methods, utilities, formulae to control program execution or process data, and more. · Design and Business Documents. Design and business documents can be registered with the Copyright Office, but they will lose their trade secret protection. What may be a better solution is to mark documents with the legends and notices discussed in the follow-ing "Protecting Your Assets: Enforcement: Notices" section and to only disclose the documents to parties under NDA. The documents should be marked with both confidentiality and copyright notices. · Tools, Technology, Processes, and Game Code. Tools, technology, processes, and game code may be protected with trade secrets, copyrights, patents (if the product qualifies) and sev- eral permutations thereof. Combinations may be used such as protecting every thing as a trade secret, and applying for registered copyrights using the trade secret registration, and patenting a small segment of the code that is particularly inventive. All creations should have confidentiality and copyright notices embedded in their code. Where any of these creations will be marketed with a certain name, like the "Unreal Engine," it should be registered for federal trademark.