Copyright, Patent & Trademark – What is the Difference?

  bombayblokes   Aug 22, 2016   Blog, Startup   0 Comment

Hasn’t this question always confused you? Most people don’t seem to know what is one and what is another.

Hence, we decided to debunk all doubts and explain each of these in brief so that everyone knows the basic difference if not anything in detail.


1) Copyright

Who can seek a copyright and what does it protect?

Copyright can be sought for by authors, artists, choreographers, architects, and other creative professionals. While an idea cannot be copyrighted, the tangible form of an idea can be. This includes original works of authorship, photographs, sculptures, choreography, architectural works, sound recordings, motion pictures, and other creative works.

What are the benefits of copyright and what is the duration?

Copyrighting provides a person with legal evidence and public notice of ownership. A person can be sued in a court for infringement of copyright provided one has the papers in place. A copyright is valid for a lifetime.


patent2) Patent

Who can seek a patent and what does it protect?

Inventors and designers file for patents. A patent protects inventions with a new or improved function. This includes machines, processes, or chemical compositions, or the design for some product.


What are the benefits of a patent and what is the duration?

When a patent is filed, the owner gets an exclusive right to prevent others from making, using, selling, or importing the protected invention. A patent protects an invention for 20 years, but it cannot be renewed. A provisional patent lasts for about a year.


Trademark3) Trademark

Who can seek a trademark and what does it protect?

Business and product owners file for a trademark. It protects a name, word, slogan, symbol, design, and/or image identifying a business or brand and distinguishing it from others in the same field.




What are the benefits of a trademark and what is the duration?

Registering a trademark enhances the rights of a person by providing legal evidence and public notice of ownership. It is proof enough of a nationwide exclusive right to the mark and allows the holder to sue an infringer if the case calls for it.  Registered trademarks can use the ® symbol. Though a trademark is valid for an unlimited period of time, it must be renewed every 10 years.

In Summary:

Each of these is distinct. However, sometimes a product can come into one or more of these categories. An example is a software. The code of the software will be protected by a copyright, while the functional expression of the idea will be protected by a patent. The name of the company or the software will come under a trademark!

Protecting an intellectual property is a very complex process that keeps evolving with each step during its life cycle, be it during its innovation, research, or development. Thus, a single product can have a patentable feature, a creative angle protected by copyright, and a source of the product that is trademarked.


Note – This article was originally published on

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *