The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
We all get confused between Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks and don't actually know what they precisely mean. Though there are some similarities amongst these protections techniques, they all serve a different purpose.
A Patent for an invention is the inventors right to his creation. It usually lasts for 20 years and
has 3 types.
Them being -
i) Utility Patent
ii) Design Patent
iii) Plant Patent
If you patent one of your patent ideas, you are granted the sole right to make, use and offer your invention for sale to anybody which nobody else can do! You need to register patents from Patent and Trademark office of your country.
A trademark, on the other hand, is a brand name or symbol (logo) representing a particular
company. It is usually to distinguish between manufacturers of the same type of goods or
A servicemark is also a type of trademark, the only difference being that it identifies the source of a service rather a product. Trademark grants you the right to prevent others from using a similar type of logo (symbol), Name or Tagline/Motto. But it doesn't prevent them from producing the same kind of goods or services you do. It can also be registered from the Trademark and Patent office of your country.
Copyright is a form of protection that is granted to a person producing a certain type of good or service. It doesn't have anything to do with the name under which the good is being produced or manufactured. Or the main idea behind it. Owner of a copyright is granted the right to prevent others from producing or manufacturing the same kind of good or service under what so ever name. Content can also be protected by copyright. For example, you can protect your music or writings, granting yourself the sole right to use or publically display your piece of work. The copyright only protects the form of presentation or expression of a particular product, People can't copy only your form or expression but can surely make their own, inspired from the one you originally produced and do whatever they wish to do with it.
Therefore, if you have invented something new, go for a patent rather than a copyright of your invention to protect it from being copied in any other/modified form.
Before applying for either a trademark, patent or copyright. You should check it anybody else has already done it.
In case of a patent or copyright, you must hire an attorney to do your work while you can check if your desired trademark has already been taken on the official website of Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). You can also conduct a Patent and Trademark check at a depository near you, though it is advised to get a lawyer.