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Difference between Copyright, Trademark & Patent

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Hello gness army,

Good Evening 🙂

In this post, we will know what is the basic difference between Copyright, Trademark and Registration Symbol or its means.

Copyright ©


What is copyright?

Copyright is a law that gives the owner of a work or his intellectual property. For example, a book, movie, picture, song or website, artistic works such as music and writings; scientific or nonscientific discoveries and inventions; developed words, symbols, and phrases – all these creations fall under the category of intellectual property. It can also be called copyright.

What are its benefits?

The exclusive rights offered to copyrighted property includes rights to reproduce or copy the works, rights to distribute or broadcast the works to the public, and the rights to lend or rent the work. The owner of the copyright determines whether anyone can use their work in any capacity.

Copyright laws make it easier for authors to make money by selling their works. With copyright, a work can only be copied if the owner gives permission.

How to get it?

Copyright protection is granted automatically to artistic works from the moment they are set in material or tangible form. There is no legal registration process required for the establishment of copyright.

Suppose, you clicked a photo of yours. This photo is copyrighted for you instantly. Because you are the creator of that photo. So, automatically you hold the copyright of it.

Copyright infringement happens when someone takes your work without your permission and does something with it (posts it, sells it, copies it).

How long it lasts?

Copyright lasts after the 70 years of the creator’s death. Means, in the above example, your that photo will be copyrighted of your self until the 70 years after your death means your lifetime plus 70 years.

Trademark ™

There are two kinds of trademark symbol (™️ , ®). This trademark (™️) is used when you apply for registration for your business names, logos, etc and not completed yet. But the second symbol (®) is used when your registration Is completed for your business names, logos. For better clarity read this post to the end.


What is a Trademark?

trademark (also written trademark or trade-mark) is a type of intellectual property consisting of a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others. 

What are its benefits?

Businesses make use of certain names, symbols, words, and designs when trading goods or services to distinguish themselves as the source of certain goods, products and services. The term “trademark” is frequently used to refer to service marks as well as trademarks.

Trademark rights are acquired to protect your intellectual property from the use by other parties, such as using a confusingly similar phrase, name or symbol. However, these rights do not prevent others from creating and selling the same services and goods under a different name, symbol, etc.

How to get it?

If no one owns the trademark rights, then you can simply claim them for yourself by using the trademark and establishing your rights under first use. The best way is through negotiations and signing a written license agreement. You need to specify the nature of the trademark use, the term of use, the territory and the license fee. Then you can perfect those rights and expand them through federal registration by contacting a trademark attorney. 

All trademarks needn’t be registered – owners can establish “common law” rights on their mark based on use solely in commerce, in which case registration is not necessary. To be noted that, federal registration of a trademark offers further useful benefits and is therefore recommended.

How long it lasts?

Trademarks are not subject to expire after a set period. Trademarks can last indefinitely so long as the mark is being used in commerce because the rights apply to actual “use”. Trademark registrations also last forever once you have paid the due fees and filed the necessary documents.

Then the question may be raised, I am confused with the above twos. What is the basic difference in it?

Ok, Let me explain better.

Copyright has a higher requirement for creativity than the trademark.

For example, the word “Google” does not have sufficient creativity to be protected as someone’s copyright. However, it is significant enough to be registered on the computer and protected as a trademark.

So let’s say that copyright is focusing on protecting the unique expression of certain ideas, while a trademark is focusing on distinguishing different products/service providers. In most cases, a trademark used for protecting brand names, slogans, etc whereas copyright used for protecting artistic works like songs, videos, photos, etc.

Then comes…

Registered Trademark or Registration ®


What is a Registered Trademark?

It’s a kind of patent. However, A registered trademark is designated with the symbol ®. With a registration, a trademark is protected against another company’s use of the name or image. A registered trademark is a federal and legal registration of the mark.

What are its benefits?

If someone steals your content and you haven’t registered with the government, you have no right to take legal action against them!  The only thing you can do is send a Cease & Desist a letter. Though it’s your intellectual property, you have not the official power of registered trademark than the only trademark or copyright. But when you registered your brand names, logos or slogans it is protected by legal laws and you can take legal steps against someone who misuse your brandings.

How to get it?

Any future companies wishing to register their own design/name/image has to check to be sure that it is not like any registered trademarks.

Trademarks can be registered through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. First, you search the online database (Trademark Electronic Search System or TESS) to determine that your mark is not claimed before by others. Once you have determined that your mark is unique, fill out a trademark application and present a representation of the mark. The registration process can be lengthy, taking about four months to receive a response to your application.

Registration includes applying, a non-refundable filing fee ($35), and a copy of the work to be protected.

How long it lasts?

The registration lasts 10 years but must be verified between years five and six to confirm that the trademark is still in use.

What’s the basic difference between Only Trademark and Registered Trademark?

The TM symbol can generally be used by any person or business to indicate that a particular word, phrase or logo is intended to serve as an identifier for the source of that product or service. You do not have to have registered a trademark to use it and many companies will opt to use the TM symbol for new goods or services in advance of and during the application process.

The R symbol indicates that this word, phrase or logo is a registered trademark for the product or service. It must only be used in the case of registered trademarks and by the owner or license.

In short, when you go for applying for a trademark, during the application process you can use ™️ symbol beside your brands which does not secure your brands of use by others. Contrary, After successfully registered you can use ® symbol beside your brands which is much secure and reliable to you and your users.



What is Patent?

Patents are intellectual property rights granted to inventions. It includes industrial processes, machines, chemical compositions, technologies, and manufactured commodities and artifacts.

The patent belongs to the inventor, or otherwise, to the individual or organization, he gives the rights to. The patent owner may license it, enabling others to make use of their invention, or they may sell it.

What are its benefits?

A patent protects an invention from others who may use it without the permission of the inventor. This includes rights to prevent the use, sale, offer for sale, and import of said invention. The patentee (owner of the patent) has the right to take legal action against those using the invention without his permission. It gives the inventor the highest security of his inventions than the above threes. 

What can’t be Patented?

Patentable inventions are required to meet certain conditions. They must be uniquely new and not published by anyone else previously.

A Patent protects the creator’s invention- any innovative process or the machine that is novel involves some technological advancement and has economic importance.

Therefore, the patentable invention must be a product, machines or a manufacturing process, rather than a scientific theory, a work of art, or a mathematical design or any natural things like air, light, animals, etc.

How to get it?

The process of Patent registration begins with performing a Patentability Search and filing the Patent application with the Patent Registrar. Upon approval of the application, the Patent is published in the journal. A request for examination is made after which, the examination report is issued. The Patent is granted after the hearing with the Controller is conducted.

How long it lasts?

Patents can be categorized as design patents, and utility and plant patents. Design patent protection lasts 15 years starting from application issuance. Conversely, utility and plant patents last a maximum of 20 years following a filing of the patent application. Patents cannot be extended beyond this 20-year period.

Comes to the conclusion…

What’s the main difference between Copyright, Patent and Trademark?

A trademark is any name, symbol, figure, letter, word, or mark adopted and used by a manufacturer or merchant in order to designate his or her goods and to distinguish them from those manufactured or sold by others. For example, McDonalds symbol.

Copyright is a form of intellectual property that grants the creator of an original creative work an exclusive legal right to determine whether and under what conditions this original work may be copied and used by others, usually for a limited term of years.

A patent is a form of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, selling, and importing an invention for a limited period of years, in exchange for publishing an enabling public disclosure of the invention,

In short Patent protects the ideas or inventions of the inventor. Trademark protects the identity of Brand names, logos. Copyright protects the expression of your creative discoveries.





What’s protected?

A patent-eligible invention that is novel, useful, and non-obvious

Any word, phrase, symbol, logo, or other devices that differentiates the source of goods or services from others

Original works of creative expression that have been fixed in a tangible medium, such as artistic output or technical work products

What rights are we afforded?

Right to exclude others from making, selling, using or importing a particular product or service

Right to prevent others from unfairly competing with you by using “confusingly similar” marks

Right to exclusively reproduce, publish, perform, display, or record the creative work, and also to create derivative works from the original

Do I have to register in order to gain this protection?

Yes; you must file a patent application

Registration is not required, but it offers you added legal benefits

Registration is not required, but it offers you added legal benefits


Do I need to renew my registration periodically?

For the patent to remain in force for the full 20-year period, maintenance fees are due after 3.5, 7.5, and 11.5 years.

Every 10 years


How long is the term of protection?

20 years

As long as the mark is being used in commerce

Author’s life plus 70 years; but if owned by a company, then 95 years after the date the work is first made public

Still, have little doubts? Let’s see some videos below…

In English

In Hindi

Hope you are clear about the above topic and enjoy this post.

Thanks for reading. See you again.

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