The website of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office has a great guide to patents on their website [HTML] [PDF]. Although containing information specific to the Canadian patent application process it includes a lot of universally relevant information as well such as clear definitions of forms of Intellectual Property:
- patents cover new inventions (process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter), or any new and useful improvement of an existing invention;
- a trade-mark is a word, symbol or design (or any combination of these) used to distinguish the wares or services of one person or organization from those of others in the marketplace;
- copyrights provide protection for literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works (including computer programs), and three other subject matter known as: performance, sound recording and communication signal;
- industrial designs are the visual features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament (or any combination of these) applied to a finished manufactured article; and
- integrated circuit topographies refer to the three-dimensional arrangement of the electronic circuits in integrated circuit products or layout designs.
There is also an examples/discussion on the standards of novelty, utility and ingenuity plus much more making this a good read for anyone interested in IP in general.