Many people confuse patents, copyrights and trademark. The three have some striking similarities and are all designed to protect intellectual property; however they are different and also serve different purposes. In simple terms, the three are all forms of protection for you and your business, from anyone who may steal, misuse or illegally benefit from your inventions and intellectual property. Most businesses use a combination of all three to ensure that their intellectual property rights are comprehensively protected.
Copyrights are used for instance to protect specific forms of expression of your intellect, including works of art and written materials. Only your expression about something is protected – the protection does not extend to the subject or topic as a whole. A copyright can be formally registered to ensure that these individual expressions are legally protected.
Patents on the other hand extend protection rights to an invention, a concept or novel item that you create. Patenting itself is also a legal process which involves the submission of a patent application. A trademark on the other hand is used to identify elements such as logos, designs, jingles, slogans or other unique or specific aspects that represent or relate to your company, product or service.
With copyright, producers of original works of authorship, including literary work, dramatic work, musical work, artistic work and other creative works are protected against infringement. It does not cover intellectual property such as titles, names, short phrases, symbols, designs and slogans. These types of work also including variations of typographic nature, lettering or colouring are more appropriately protected through trademark and do not qualify for copyright protection. A trademark always protects a word, phrase, symbol or design that identifies and distinguishes your goods or services from those of others. Think of a slogan you have heard somewhere before – chances are it is protected by a trademark.
To protect the name of your company, your newly designed logo or catchphrase, what you will need is a trademark. However before you can protect the next big idea you have for a catchphrase or name of your business, you need to find out whether someone elsewhere has had your stroke of genius before you and had gone ahead to protect it with a trademark. A trademark search is necessary to ensure your idea of a name, logo or design does not exist elsewhere and that it has not been taken up by another company.
Contact us at Trademark24 for professional assistance with trademark protection and related aspects of safeguarding your intellectual property. Why risk your valuable concepts, ideas and intangible property – for a reasonable cost you could enjoy the protection you require today and for the foreseeable future.