Difference Between Trademark And Copyright – Trademarks and copyrights are two of the most frequently used legal documents that a person or business may apply for. Although trademark and copyright tend to be confused with each other, they are not interchangeable.
It is important to understand trademark and copyright law because it can affect one’s business.
One could be accused of trademark or copyright infringement if the company does not distinguish between trademark and copyright law when producing products, uses unauthorized material on their website, or publishes work without consent.
When you hear the term trademark, copyright, or patent, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Do you think of a trademark as something only lawyers use?
If trademark and copyright are used in everyday conversations, why haven’t copyright and trademark been merged into one word? A trademark differs from a copyright in many ways. Both trademark and copyright protect intellectual property, but they both do it in different ways.
In addition to protecting intellectual property rights under federal law, trademarks block unfair competition while copyrights block illegal reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials.
It is a symbol, design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods from others. This allows people who have goods bearing a trademark to distinguish their goods as being unique from other companies’ goods.
In many cases, trademark law can become complicated because trademark rights stem from use rather than registration.
Trademarks only protect words used in distinctive ways by identifying products or brands from those manufactured by others. The owner must first use the trademark before it can claim a trademark right over a particular trademark.
Trademarks are affixed to goods with trademark symbols such as the trademark symbol ®, trademark words, or trademark designs. As soon as a trademark is used in association with goods, it will automatically obtain trademark rights over that trademark because of use.
Trademark rights protect someone else using the same trademark for similar products offered in the market.
The trademark owner could stop the person from using its particular trademark if they have exclusive right to use their registered trademark on their product category based upon actual or intended usage within commercial activities.
The word copyright means literally ‘the right to copy’ and is, therefore, often referred to as the right of literary property. A copyright is an intangible right, meaning it does not provide its owner with the actual possession of any tangible form of media.
It provides creators with legal rights to their works which they may legally protect by seeking legal remedies. Copyright infringement occurs when someone violates one of these exclusive rights given to the copyright holder by making or publishing unauthorized copies of their original work without permission.
Copyright covers most creative expressions in a fixed medium or form at a given time. Copyrights protect artistic creations such as paintings, music, writings, buildings, photography, films, dances, etc., from being reproduced without consent from the owner of said work.
This is opposed to trademark law which protects words or symbols used to identify a specific brand or product in commerce. Trademarks indicate the source of goods, while copyrights refer to original works created by an author expressed in some tangible medium, for example, literature or movies.
Although copyrights and trademarks share many similarities, they are still fundamentally different from each other in terms of purpose, duration, and extent of protection offered by law.
The first trademark acts as a source identifier while copyright protects expression, which results in some difference between trademark and copyright.
Now trademark allows a trademark owner to stop others from using it for similar goods or services, but copyright does not. It only prohibits the unauthorized use of the goods where trademark also protects against unauthorized use of the trademark for dissimilar goods.
The second trademark can be used by any person individually, while copyright ownership lies with the original author or creator under Indian law, be it an individual or organization.
That is one reason why copyright infringement cases are easier to make because it is easy to find out who owns the copyright.
This becomes challenging when a patent becomes involved because joint owners may arise after filing patent applications involving joint applicants where trademark becomes difficult to deal with during trademark.
Co-applicants have equal rights over registered trademarks unless the trademark is registered in the names of partners separately.
Copyright infringement is also a problem for businesses that publish articles without the consent of their authors. The most common cases are when websites copy articles from other websites and republish them without consent or attribution.
Intellectual property rights have become increasingly important to trademark owners because they effectively protect trademark rights from third parties seeking trademark protection.
However, a trademark cannot provide the same level of protection as copyright since a trademark protects the trademark owner’s goods or services against confusion by identical trademarks. In contrast, copyright prevents unauthorized copying of original work, which results in differences between trademark and copyright.
Trademark can be registered online or offline, but copyright registration has to be done at a designated office only where trademark registration is based upon use where copyright registration is based upon creation.
That means if a person creates a new song, then they will have copyright over that song immediately once it has been created without any requirement for formalities such as registration.
Lastly, a trademark protects the trademark owner’s use where copyright does not protect the original author or creator’s usage of their work.
Because trademark gives trademark owner certain rights over the trademark which include selling goods under trademark, license, or franchise agreement so that trademark may be used by the licensee only if agreed upon by both parties.
In contrast, copyright gives the right to copy an original piece of work where a person can copy it an unlimited number of times without infringing copyright law. In contrast, a trademark is limited to selling goods related to a registered trademark on a license basis.
In conclusion, there are differences between copyright and trademark, such as purpose, the extent of protection offered at law, and duration of protection offered at law.
Trademark prohibits use against the same category, while copyright prevents copying a particular expression with additional formality, ownership, and duration conditions.