Difference between Trademark, Copyright and Patent

Posted on: 2017-08-19 06:30:06

Before you seek to understand the differences between trademark, copyright and patent, you need to know the concepts of trademark, copyright & patent which are very important that you comprehend what they are. Then you can go for valid difference points.

First we've to understand it, that these three things are considered as intellectual property. And any person or organization can acquire it by providing its clear evidence of own creation.

Let's move to the concept of 3 IPR (Intellectual Property Right).

Concept of Trademark

Trademark can be a word, slogan, logo, symbol, and image of a business brand. It is treated as one of the most intellectual property assset of a company. A trademark can be filed by product owners as well as business owners.

Trademarks normally deal with the following components:

  • Name
  • Word
  • Slogan
  • Symbol
  • Design
  • Image   

If any one of these is trademarked, then it acts as the signature of the brand or business that has done the trademark work. Its main function is to differentiate a product or a brand from others of its ilk, ones that can be regarded as its competitors.  

Concept of Copyright

A copyright is an intellectual property right for a real creator who crafts the material resourcees on literal, musical, artistic, cinematography, computer programs, etc. so that he/she can be eligible to acquire copyright license for its own creation. But remember it should be a unique, new, and fresh and differentiated from others.

Copyright is being used for the protection of following works:

  • Authors
  • Artists
  • Choreographers
  • Architects
  • Creative professionals

It is true that it is impossible to copyright an idea as such but you can always copyright the tangible form of an idea.

This can and does by including all of the following original works and more:

  • Authorship
  • Photographs
  • Sculpture
  • Choreography
  • Architectural work
  • Sound recording
  • Motion pictures
  • Different creative work

Concept of Patents

Patent is also an intellectual property right under IPR Act for new creative invention. The innovation could have such values to put a great impact on human life development process.

On the other hand, patents are filed by designers and inventors. With the help of a patent these entities are able to protect inventions that offer new and improved functionality.

Patent can include with the following things such as:

  • Machine
  • Product design
  • Industrial design
  • Chemical compositions
  • New invention process, as well as the designs for all of these.

Differences Between Trademark, Copyright and Patent

An easy and brief comparison chart on trademark, copyright & patent which helps you get a clear idea on it.

Here's you can take a look at simple distinction between trademarks, copyright and patent:





Gives the owner exclusive use of certain phrases/ images.

Gives the owner exclusive rights to material resources.

Gives owner property rights relating to an invention.

Protects a word, phrase, symbol or design that identifies the source of the product.

Protects works of authorship, published or unpublished

protect creative or intellectual works used for:

  • Music
  • Cinematography
  • Photos
  • Forms of Art, etc.

Protects invention of a person or organization so no-one can misuse the same.

Also known as ‘service mark’. It refers to service, rather than a product.

Considered as territorial or national right for creative work on literary, artistic, educational or musical form.

Considered as a “property”; therefore it can be bought, sold, mortgaged or licensed by owner

Mostly used in commerce.

Mostly used in literature, education, entertainment, programming.

Mostly used in organizations.

Prevents companies from selling a similar product with the same or similar word or symbol.

Prevents others to use the original expression of an idea from a creative work.

Prevents anyone from making, using or selling the patented invention.

Duration of trademark is 10 years from registration.

Duration of copyright is life of the author plus next 60 years.

Duration of patent is 20 years from date of application.

A form of protection for a brand name.

A form of protection for a creative work.

A form of protection for a new invention.


Difference With Regards to the Benefits of Trademark, Copyright & Patent

Benefits of using registered trademark:

As far as a trademark is concerned it improves the rights of the entity that has filed it by way of making available legal evidence. Benefits of trademark provide a public notice of ownership as well. It acts as sufficient proof of the fact that the owner has exclusive rights to the product or brand mark in a certain nation.

Benefits of using registered copyright:

In case someone infringes the copyright, the owner has the right to sue that particular entity.

The benefits are similar in case of a copyright as well. Here too the owner has legal proof of ownership apart from the fact that the copyright serves as a public notice of ownership. Provided that the owner has the advantages of copyright for the same. He/she can sue a person at a court of law for infringing his copyright.    

Benefits of using registered patent:  

With the help of a patent an owner is able to prevent any manufacture, sale, usage, and import of the invention that has been protected under the IPR law. He has the exclusive rights in this case.

Difference With Regards to Tenure of Trademark, Copyright & Patent

A trademark has to be renewed every 10 years; means its validity timeline is 10 years. But it does remain valid for a lifetime.

The validity period of a copyright is 60 years excluding with owner's life.

However, in case of a patent the validity period expires at the end of 20 years and it cannot be renewed after that. A provisional patent can be availed for a one year period however.

The biggest thing about these three is that while they are unique for a product, but can have one or more of them at a time.


Related Posts:

How to Apply for Trademark Registration in Bangalore?

Why Trademark Registration is Vital for My Business?

How Trademark is Important for Your Business?

What can be Patented and cannot be Patented?

Difference between Registered & Unregistered Trademark