These explanations and discussions are designed to provide a basic overview of these concepts, and are not meant to be the definitive statement on any of them. Patent and intellectual property law, as well as other areas of the law, are full of subtleties, nuances, and exceptions that can change the results or answers depending on the factual and legal circumstances that you find yourself in. So, what might be generally true is not always true. As with any legal issue, you should consult with a qualified attorney to determine how these concepts apply to you in your specific situation.
Our hope is to help you in understanding these basic concepts in what can be a complex and confusing area.