What is the difference between a patent, copyright, and trade mark?

Unsure about the difference between intellectual property, patents, trade marks, and copyright?

Let the expert team at Trademark Eagle clear up any confusion.

Below, we explain three different types of intellectual property; patents, copyright, and trade marks.

What is a patent?

A patent is a type of intellectual property protection that gives the inventor of a new product or process exclusive rights issued by the government.

As a result, the inventor is able to pursue legal action against any individual or business that manufactures, sells, or imports the patented product or chooses to use a patented process without their permission.

Theories can’t be patented, but technological inventions including methods can be given patent protection.

Amazon’s 1-Click ordering patent is an example of how patents can give businesses a distinct advantage over their competitors.

What is copyright?

Copyright, on the other hand, is  legally protects literary or artistic work and it can used to control who and how the copyrighted material can be used.

This covers everything from how the work is performed, adapted, distributed, and copied. Without permission from the creator, individuals and companies alike cannot use copyrighted work.

Regardless of whether the work is labelled with the well-known copyright symbol (©) or not, this protection is automatically applied when it’s created, unlike a patent or trademark.

Paintings, plays, films, songs, and books are all examples of intellectual property that is protected by copyright laws in the UK. The length of time a piece of work is protected for depends on its nature.

What is a trade mark?

More specific than a copyright, a trade mark is specially designed to protect anything that would be used to identify your business, including its products and services. Trade Marks are the specific names and signs that enable a customer to remember your business and to differentiate it from others in the same commercial space.

Signs, logos, taglines, colour schemes, sounds, expressions, and designs are all elements that can be protected by registering them as a trade mark.

Once you’ve protected your intellectual property with a trade mark, if a competitor then uses a very similar sign, design, or name to attempt to benefit from the success of your business (without your permission), you can take legal action.

Trade marks can have huge longevity and as an example, Bass Beer was originally registered in 1876 and the marks are in use and protected today.

The speedy and proper registration of any trade marks is therefore essential to protecting your brand and business.

Searching for patent, copyright, or trade mark help?

Here at Trademark Eagle, we’re experts when it comes to a wide range of professional Intellectual Property Services.

Highly-experienced in trade mark registration as well as copyright protection, we can help your business to properly register and protect a variety of important assets.

If you’d like to be made aware of any competing trade mark applications that could pose a threat to your intellectual property, we recommend signing up to our trade mark monitoring service.

Designed to swiftly notify you regarding any applications for highly similar or identical trade marks to your own, our service helps to limit potential damage to your intellectual property.

To book a free initial consultation or to learn more about intellectual property, patents, trade marks, and copyright services available here at Trademark Eagle, please don’t hesitate to give our team a call today on 0122 3208 624.

You can also get in touch by emailing us at enquiries@trademark-eagle.com, using our convenient live chat feature, or filling out our online contact form. Why wait to protect your vital business assets? Get in touch today!

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