If your business is a brand or you want to turn it into one, then you might be aware of copyright and Trademark terms. However, there are chances that you might have some confusion between the differences and what they actually mean.
Creating original material as well as assets, it’s likely that you are considering how to protect your intellectual property.
For example, you might wonder what if someone starts selling a product using your business’s name and logo as an endorsement without permission.
Understanding how much it can affect the business and what you can do in order to protect it. This article can help you with that.
What Are Copyright And Trademarks?
Copyright usually comes first when a business creates something in their intellectual property, Also to ensure that no one else will use it in the future. Copyright helps in protecting original works of the authorship.
Not just that, the work requires to have it published somewhere where people can hear, see or touch it.
A trademark helps the consumers identify the business as it shows the source of the service or the product. Having a strong federal Trademark helps ins serve as a valuable marketing tool and helps establish brand recognition.
With the Trademark, the consumers can identify the service and products among the competitors available in the marketplace. This also helps in growing and expanding the business.
Basic Differences Between Copyright Vs. Trademark?
To understand more about both, let’s start with understanding the basic difference between Copyright and Trademark.
Both are intellectual property which helps in defining them as intangible assets. Even though they are intellectual property protection, Trademarks, and Copyright help protect different types of assets, they also have different registration requirements.
Copyright helps in protecting artistic and literary materials as well as works such as videos and books. This automatically helps in generating the work and its creation.
A trademark helps in protecting the items that help define the brand, such as a slogan and logo. Also, it requires registration extended through the government for legal protection.
What Copyright And Trademark Help In Protecting?
Copyright is a form of intellectual property that provides protection to the original work and is generated automatically by the creation of works.
It helps in protecting musical, literary, artistic, and dramatic works, including:
✅ Other original forms of writing
✅ Other forms of materials in audio and video forms
✅ Computer software
On the other hand, Trademark is also an intellectual property protection that covers symbols, words, designs, phrases, or symbols that distinguish the brand or source of goods as compared to others.
Therefore, Trademark can help you in protecting the items such as
In short, Trademark can be applied to anything that has essentially part of the brand or identifies the company, product, or business.
What Are The Works That Can’t Be Copyrighted?
To better understand the difference between both, it’s also important to know the works that don’t have Copyright.
When considering Copyright, as long as you have the original work preserved in any form, it can be protected under this.
But if it’s not present in tangible form, for example, if it’s a speech that is not written or recorded, this can’t be Copyrighted.
Apart from that, some more works don’t include in the Copyright, such as:
👉 List of ingredients or contents ( recipe or institutions comes under Copyright)
👉 Works that are not in ‘common property, such as weight, height charts, or calendars.
Additionally, works that are presented in the public domain or those that have expired Copyright, forfeited or waived can’t be included in the copyrighted.
Although the public domain depends on the country, such as in the US, it refers to work published before 1923.
Also, the duration of the Copyright depends. Original work, which an individual creates, can last as long as the author is alive and even 70 years more.
But if it’s created anonymously or under a false name or for hire, then it lasts 95 years from the publication date or 120 years from its creation date.
What Are The Works That Can’t Be Trademarked?
The Trademark was originally for goods only, but according to the law now also helps protect goods and services.
But there are a few things that can’t be trademarked, such as:
✅ Proper names and likenesses without having consent from the person
✅ Government symbols and insignia
✅ Generic phrases or terms
✅ Sounds or short motifs are the ones included in the Copyright.
✅ Scandalous, deceptive, immortal words and symbols
✅ The likeness of the US president, including current or former
✅ Vulgar or disparaging words or the phrases
How Can You Protect The Copyright And Trademark?
As mentioned above includes what and what cannot be Copyright as well as trademarks to protect. Another difference is understanding how these two intellectual properties can be protected.
Copyright is generated automatically on the cation of the work. However, there are different precautions that you need to take for potential copyright infringers.
Here are a few examples that you can consider:
Make Sure To Mark Properly
You can make sure that when you are marking it properly, such as signed or with the watermark. Also, there should be a clear evolutionary footprint from the work to the business.
Having The Creative Commons
Creative Commons helps by offering free copyright licenses. It allows you to help mark the creative work with the freedom you want.
Poor Man’s Copyright
This is a practice that helps in sending the work you own to yourself. This is also establishing that material has been possessed by one person for a particular time.
However, if there is no provision under the copyright law to have such type of protection, so it’s not suitable for registration.
Use The Symbol Of Copyright
At a minimum, you need to use the symbol to denote the copyrighted work.
Although it’s not required, you might decide to register the work with the US Copyright office.
To do so, here you have to complete the application process, including paying a fee and sending a copy of the work to the US copyright office. This will help in officially registering the Copyright.
When you complete the process, it will help you in adding Copyright to the public record. You also receive the certificate of registration. Plus, if it’s completed within five years of its publication. It is also considered prima facie evidence in a court of law.
It helps you in making it easy to sue over the use of the materials by another party under the law of the United States.
As for the Trademark, even though it’s not necessary, it is one of the best ways to help protect the logo, brand name, and slogan of the business.
- First, you want to do the trademark search to ensure the branding materials which aren’t in use. You might also decide to work with a trademark lawyer to assist in trademark registration.
- But you can also complete the application online through the US Patent and Trademark Office website or USPTO.
- For example, if you want to trademark the business name, you need to check the state trademark office to ensure the name is not in use and complete the registration process.
- Among these, you need to note the difference between federal and state trademark registration.
When it comes to the specific business name, you can register it in your state or country clerk. All you have to do is file a DBA, which is not like trademarking the business’s name.
Can You Trademark When You Can’t Copyright Something?
Some of the creations don’t come under Copyright, but they can be trademarked.
For example, regarding names, titles, slogans, logos, or phrases. Also, these can be trademarked.
A trademark is a symbol, word, name, device, or any combination intended to be used to identify and distinguish the individual company’s products and goods.
Another type you get in Trademark is a Service mark, especially for the business that offers the service. It includes the delivery services or insurance companies that use such marks.
To summarize the differences between Copyright and Trademark, you should know this.
Copyright can help protect the original work, whereas using the Trademark helps distinguish and identify one business from another.
Copyright is also generated automatically upon the original creation of work, whereas Trademark is established by using the common mark in different businesses.
Another vitally important point is that Copyright is a set period of time; Trademark doesn’t expire according to the mark provided.
Overall, both are considered intellectual property protection and are important in business. It also protects from legal actions as it protects it from infringing the use of works related to you.
This is the basis of understanding the differences that can help in knowing more about how copyright and trademark work.
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Co-Founder of Burban Branding. With 5 years of expertise in Naming, Branding, and Strategy, I’ve empowered 200+ clients worldwide. Let’s embark on a transformative journey together, unleashing your brand’s true potential. Join me in creating a remarkable brand identity that captivates and inspires.