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Memory Alpha is a collaborative project to create the most definitive, accurate, and accessible encyclopedia and reference for everything related to Star Trek. The English-language Memory Alpha started in November 2003, and currently consists of 38,222 articles. If this is your first visit, please read an introduction to Memory Alpha.


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Latest news

25 March 2015
Idris Elba is in talks to play the villain of Star Trek XIII. [1]
12 March 2015
Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home stuntman Eddie Hice passed away at the age of 85.
6 March 2015
Producer and writer Harve Bennett, who has been in charge of four Star Trek films, has passed away on 25 February 2015 at the age of 84 in Medford, Oregon. [2]
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Featured article

DesignPatentExample

Detail of an Issued Design Patent

Design patents are a type of patent issued under United States of America law. (Other locations have similar protections but they are called different things.) The patent is granted based on the unique appearance or concept of an item rather than its "usefulness". Design patents typically are sought for items where the appearance is as - or more - important than the underlying craftsmanship itself. So, things like jewelry, toys, furniture, car parts, etc. are frequently granted design patents.

Design patents have a life in the US of fourteen years from the date of issuance. Their main usefulness is as a supplement to copyright protections. Whereas someone claiming a copyright in a work can prevent actual copies being made, a design patent can more easily be used to prevent the unauthorized creation of similar items which are not actually copies. Neither protection is absolute, but some counsel believe that having both is important where even the hint of similar design is a threat to the value of the original design.

From 1978 through 1987, Paramount Pictures sought and obtained various design patents for Star Trek designs. There seem to have been no other filings after 1987, and Paramount's legal department instead probably feels comfortable with existing copyright protections.

In each instance of a design patent at least one "inventor" has to be listed. The inventor can never be the corporation, it has to be an individual or individuals. It is sometimes interesting to see who gets credit for what on the official documents.
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Picture of the Day

Ressik on Kataan HD

Reliving the memories of another, Jean-Luc Picard overlooks the town of Ressik on Kataan.

Reliving the memories of another, Jean-Luc Picard overlooks the town of Ressik on Kataan.
(TNG: "The Inner Light")


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