Trademark vs Copyright
You must have seen the alphabet c inside a circle or the alphabets TM written on some products and packaging of certain products. Do you understand the significance of these signs and symbols or you think of both as being same and interchangeable? There is another word or concept of patents to confuse people these days. There are many similarities between these three different tools for the protection of intellectual property meant to help people enjoy their fruits of labor or creation for a long time exclusively. For all those who think copyright and trademark are the same, this article attempts to highlight the subtle differences between the two to choose the right tool for their own creations.
Creative works in literary fields as also in the world of music and art get protection through copyright. All intellectual works or creations, whether they have been published or not can be granted copyright. This means that the permission to reproduce the work anywhere in the world remains exclusively with the owner of the copyright. This copyright is provided under the Copyright Act of 1976 and is registered by the Copyright Office.
If you are the creator of something new that you want to protect from people ready to copy or reproduce it publically, you can apply in the prescribed form available on the internet and get the required copyright for your literary work. Photos, songs, music, recordings, drawings, graphics, art pieces, books, other written text, movies, plays, sows, etc. are some example of products that can be copyrighted to prevent others from copying or reproducing them without the permission of the creator.
Trademark is a protection tool that is given to products and services to differentiate them from similar goods and services. This is done to protect the interests of the manufacturers or sellers as they can use the word or symbol to let the potential customers distinguish them in a crowd of similar products and services. Nowadays, the word service mark is used to distinguish the tool for services whereas trademark is the word or symbol that is reserved for products. This is a mark that lets consumers know the source of the goods so that they can differentiate between authentic and fake products.
A company obtaining the trademark cannot prevent another company from making and introducing a similar product in the market. All a trademark does is to let the consumers know the source of the product. It is possible for a company to get trademarks for its logo, business name, product names, etc. that the company considers as brands and does not want other companies to use these names.
What is the difference between Trademark and Copyright?
• There is a huge difference in the type of products protected by copyright and trademarks.
• Copyright is used to protect intellectual products like works of art, music, songs, movies, plays, books, poems, texts etc. whereas trademark is a tool that is used to protect names and words used by a business, to let consumers know the source of the products.
• It is common to see books and movies being granted copyrights whereas business names, slogans, and logos are given trademarks for protection.
• While copyright is used to prevent others from copy and reproduce literary works, trademark cannot prevent others from making or selling same products. All a trademark does is to identify the source of a product to allow a consumer know from where it has come.