When it comes to intellectual property protection, trademark and copyright law are two distinct legal tools. While both offer protection to so-called intellectual property, they differ in terms of what they protect and how. To gain a better understanding of the difference between the two, let's take a closer look at each of these legal protections. A trademark is a form of intellectual property protection that covers words, phrases, symbols, or designs that distinguish a particular brand (or product source) from others. A classic example of a trademark is McDonald's iconic “golden arches” logo, which is instantly recognizable around the world.
Generally speaking, trademark rights come from actual use, meaning that the brand can last forever as long as it is used in the course of business activity. It is important to note that there is a difference between state and federal trademark registration, with the latter offering the greatest legal protection. Because of the legal implications, most trademark experts recommend hiring an attorney to help with the registration process. Additionally, trademark owners must file a Section 8 statement every 10 years from the date of registration to show that the trademark is still in use. When it comes to trademarks, it's important to distinguish between a trademark and a service mark.
A service mark is used specifically to differentiate the services of one company from those provided by another. If your company has a close competitor with whom it shares certain stylistic elements of the brand, you may want to register your logo or business name so that customers don't confuse the two. In order to register a trademark with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office), you must provide information about your product or service in accordance with their manual. If the products or services associated with your trademark are not listed in the manual, you must use the TEAS standard, which requires you to provide a personalized description of your trademark. Copyright law is another form of intellectual property protection that covers original works of authorship such as books, music, movies, photographs, and other creative works. Copyright law grants authors exclusive rights over their works for a limited period of time.
This means that only the author has the right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display or create derivative works based on their original work. Unlike trademarks, copyright protection does not require registration with any government agency. However, registering your work with the U. S. Copyright Office can provide additional legal protection if you ever need to take legal action against someone who has infringed on your copyright.
Additionally, registering your work can also help establish proof of ownership if you ever need to prove it in court. In conclusion, trademarks and copyrights are two distinct forms of intellectual property protection that offer different types of protection for different types of works. Trademarks protect words, phrases, symbols or designs associated with a particular brand or product source while copyrights protect original works of authorship such as books, music and movies. It is important to understand the differences between these two forms of protection in order to ensure that your intellectual property is adequately protected.