Trademark, Copyright, Patent: What’s the Difference?
Starting a business is hard. There are so many elements involved. Not only do you have to come up with a solid plan to make money, but you also have to protect your ideas. So many scammers out there are looking for easy money. If they get a hold of your ideas, they can easily recreate your products and services. By copying your business model, they can make money and cause you to lose revenue.
Don’t let this happen to you. There are ways to protect your brand name, logo, inventions, ideas, artwork, marketing materials, jingles, TV commercials and anything else you create for your company. This is done through trademarks, copyrights and patents. The right option for you will depend on what you need to protect. It is possible that you may need all three options for protection. Read on to learn how they are used.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark can be used to protect a design, word, symbol or phrase used for goods and services. For example, a brand name, logo or slogan could be protected by a trademark. In order to receive protection, though, the mark must be distinctive. It should not be so similar to another design or phrase that the two can be easily confused. A company can use their creations without registering a trademark, but there are certain legal benefits of doing so. A trademark allows the creator to use the work as they please and prevent others from using the work in a similar way. The work is protected for as long as it is used in commerce.
What is a Copyright?
A copyright is different from a patent in that it protects artistic and literary works that you have authored. This includes articles, books, songs, films, sculptures, photos, sound recordings, choreography and other works. A copyright grants the author multiple rights. You will be able to reproduce the work, display it, distribute it, create derivative works and perform it publicly. A copyright lasts the author’s lifetime, plus 70 years.
What is a Patent?
A patent is different from a trademark or copyright in that it protects the actual invention. An invention can be a composition of matter, a process, a machine or anything else that is manufactured. The invention must be new and useful in order to receive a patent. A patent offers 20 years of protection. During that time, the creator has the right to prevent others from making, using or selling the invention.
Learn More About Protecting Your Intellectual Property
Whether you have created ideas or physical products, it is important to protect your property. Many entrepreneurs and companies have had their ideas stolen by others trying to make a profit.
Orlando trademark & copyright lawyer B.F. Godfrey from Godfrey Legal offers solid advice on matters relating to intellectual property. He can help protect your important assets so you can maximize your profits. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call his office at (407) 890-0023.