Copyright vs. Trademark, what’s the difference?

The term Copyright and Trademark are both intellection property protections that have often be used in place of each other.

What are Copyright and Trademark? 

Copyright protects the original work of creative individuals like movies, songs, novels, and software.

Trademark, on the other hand, protects brand names, slogans, and logos. This is perfect for brands that do not want their names or slogan copied and used by any other firm. 

What are the differences between copyright and Trademark?

Some of the key differences between Copyright and Trademark include the following:

Process of Protection

Your works can be copyrighted using the following method:

  • Properly mark your work using a signature or a watermark.
  • Using Creative Commons, which offers creative copyright license for free
  • Adding the copyright symbol that shows your work is an intellectual property not to be used by anyone. 
  • Officially registering your work with the Copyright office in your country of origin. This requires the payment of a fee, after which you will receive a certificate. 

Trademarks, on the other hand, are registered through the federal or state government. It often involves extensive registration to get legal protection for your business properties.

Before trademarking, you must do research to ensure that no company is currently using the branded materials. 

Length of protection

Copyright protects creative works belonging to an individual. As an individual, you can create these works and copyright them immediately. Note that it has to be completed in physical forms. This implies that you cannot copyright an idea or principle. Also, works with expired copyright cannot be re-copyrighted. You’ll find these kinds of works in the public domain, especially those published a long time ago. For example, the U.S. refers to works published before 1923 as public domain work, which means it’s for the public’s general consumption. An author’s works using their original name have a copyright that lasts throughout their life and an additional 70 years. Suppose it’s created under a pseudonym and lasts from 95-120 years after creation. After this time, it becomes a public domain.

Trademark registration, on the other hand, has no expiry date. The only difficulty that is experienced in this is the process and time required to complete your registration. This varies from country to country.

Finally, although copyright and trademarks are key ways of protecting your intellectual properties, they vary in so many ways, as listed above. 

Talk to us about how we can help you PROTECT your intellectual property.