Legal Aspects to your Logo – TRADEMARK vs. PATENT vs. COPYRIGHT

marksSome people confuse trademarks, patents and copyrights.
There are some legal similarities and differences of intellectual property protection.

What Is a Patent? 
A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the Patent and Trademark Office.
The right conferred by the patent grant is, “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention or “importing” the invention.
What is granted is not the right to make, use, offer for sale, sell or import, but the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing the invention.

A few other differences between copyright and trademarks: 

Copyright covers
a) works of art (2 or 3 dimensional),
b) photos, pictures, graphic designs, drawings and other forms of images;
c) songs, music and sound recordings of all kinds;
d) books, manuscripts, publications and other written works; and
e) plays, movies, shows, and other performance arts.

-The purpose of a trademark is to protect words, phrases and logos used in regulated commerce to identify the source of goods or services.
-If you are interested in protecting a title, slogan, or other short word phrase, generally you want a trademark. Copyright law does not protect a bare phrase, slogan, or trade name.
-Whether an image should be protected by trademark or copyright depends on whether its use is intended to identify the source of goods or services. If an image is used temporarily in an ad campaign or article blog, it is not the type of thing intended to be protected.
-When both copyright and trademark protection are desired.
Copyright and trademark protection will cover different things. An adverts text and graphics, will be covered by copyright – but doesn’t protect the slogan, its protected by trademark and again it will not cover the rest of the advertisement. In this scenario you will need both types of cover.
-The registration processes of copyright and trademark are entirely different.
Copyright, small filing fee, short administrative process and examination by the Copyright Office. Trademark, fee is more expensive, bureaucratic processes take much longer.

What Is a Copyright? 
Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of “original works of authorship” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished. The 1976 Copyright Act gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies or records of the copyrighted work, to perform the copyrighted work publicly, or to display the copyrighted work publicly.
The copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the writing. For example, a description of a device could be copyrighted, it would only prevent others from copying the description; it doesn’t prevent others from writing a description of their own or from making and using the device.

What Is a Trademark or Servicemark? 
Trademark rights may be used to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark, but not to prevent others from making the same goods or from selling the same goods or services under a clearly different mark.

– Trademark is a word, name, symbol or device which is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others.
– Servicemark is the same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product.

The terms “trademark” and “mark” are used to refer to both trademarks and servicemarks.


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