Trademarks Vs. Patents Vs. Copyrights

By Rithika Revur3 min read · Posted Aug 3, 2022

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Introduction

You might have seen that familiar trademark symbol (™) on your favorite childhood toy. Or you saw that copyright symbol (©) on your favorite book. Then saw a patent number on a new device you just bought. But what does all of this mean, and what are the differences between these things? Well, this article will give a crash course on each of these items and some good examples. So keep reading to find out more.

Trademarks

What is it?

A trademark protects a unique thing that represents a company. Trademarks are there to ensure other companies don’t end up stealing another company’s unique brand design and use it as their own.

When are trademarks used?

Trademarks are used in order to distinguish your company brand from other brands.

Examples of Trademarks

Trademarks can be found within famous company slogans. One famous slogan is the KFC’s “It’s finger Lickin’ Good”. Logos can also be trademarked too. A few examples are the Tesla Logo and the famous golden arches that Mcdonalds have.

Learn how to file a Trademark here (link coming soon)!

Patents

What is it?

A patent is used to protect the rights of new inventions and give ownership for these inventions to the company or person. You may have seen that more companies have Patent Technology to ensure that other companies don’t take their ideas and products.There are few different types of patents found in the U.S and it’s important to understand the differences between each one and when one patent must be used.

To best protect inventions, there are 4 types of patents:

  • A Provisional Patent is the generic definition of a patent and is used to give ownership of inventions to their creators.
  • A Design Patent is used to protect a design type that can be useful in manufacturing inventions.
  • A Plant Patent. This patent is utilized for protecting new plants by means of cutting, but not by producing plants through reproductive means.
  • Utility Patent. This patent isn’t a patent, but a technical document that teaches people how to use the product.

When are patents used?

The most common time a patent is used for is for inventions and new ideas. If you created a new invention or a new technological advancement and you want to preserve your rights. You then use a patent or gain a patent.

Examples of Patents

Some known patents are: the light bulb, bluetooth, and the telephone. As you can see a common pattern is patents are heavily used towards technological inventions.

Learn how to file a patent here (link coming soon)!

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Copyrights

What is it?

A copyright gives credit and ownership to creators that have made intellectual property that can be shown to other people. Copyrights are more commonly seen than the other patents and are found most on the internet. Copyrights can be made once the item is made and is clearly claimed, but to have registered copyright you must submit a completed application form and copy of your work sent to the U.S Copyright Office. The application form can be found on their website.

When are Copyrights used?

Copyrights are used when you want to protect your work from being plagiarized. Copyrights are quite important and they make sure that any form of intellectual property is given credit to and is not stolen.

Examples of copyrights

Some examples are images, books, websites, and art. Not only these forms of communication can be copyrighted, but movies, computer software and architecture can be copyrighted.

Learn how to file a copyright here (link coming soon)!

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Takeaways

So these are the common types of ways people can gain protection and ownership of their creations through legal means. Trademarks are used to give ownership to people and companies that have a specific artistic design they created. Patents are used to give ownership to people and companies for their inventions. Lastly, copyrights give credit towards creators that create any type of intellectual property that can be seen by others. The Copyrights ensure that their products don’t end up getting plagiarized. These ways can help you or your company make sure your products don’t end up getting stolen and give credit where it's due.

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Our organization cannot give out official legal/fiscal guidance. All articles are written by volunteers and it may be beneficial to contact professionals to assist your understanding of the information and to guide your action. Pitch Labs bears no responsibility for the results of actions taken based off of article content or any other form of assistance given.