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Copyright vs. Trademark vs. Patent

Copyright vs. Trademark vs. Patent

You might find these three terms similar and get confused but there is a huge difference between them. All of them are different types of intellectual property rights registered under different acts that provide rights to save your copyright, patent, and trademark from frauds and outsiders.

In this article, we have given you a brief description of these terms and have discussed how they differ from each other.

What is Copyright?

Copyright is an intellectual property right provided to an author’s original work. Under this, he has full right to reproduce, derivative, distribute, perform and display his work publically. The owner has the authority to transfer his copyright through licensing, assigning, and other forms of transfers.

In simple words, copyright provides you with the right to choose how you want to make your work available to the public.

What is a Patent?

A patent is an intellectual property right provided to the innovation of an inventor. It protects his invention and no one has the authority to use it without taking the permission of the owner/investor.

It is somehow expensive, time-consuming and requires guidance from an experienced person. The main motive behind patent registration is to encourage the new inventors to bring more advancement in technology and commercialization.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark can be a logo, word, phrase, name, symbol or design that may classify your products and services from other similar products in the market. It helps you to provide your product with a legal identity so that your customers can easily differentiate them from others.

So, this was a brief description of these three IP rights now let us move ahead to chief differences between patent, copyright, and trademark.

Copyright Trademark Patent  
It is done to protect the original work of authors such as their books, scripts, articles, songs, paintings, sculptures, etc. It is done to protect the logo, phrase, symbol, word or design that distinguishes a company’s goods and services from others available in the market. It protects the inventions of an inventor related to machines, manufacturing parts, as well as any modification of these parts.
It can be taken by authors, artists, choreographers, architects and other professionals who want to protect their original work. Business and product owners can file for trademark registration. The inventors of innovations and designers can file for patent registration.
Copyright search is carried out to register a copyright. Trademark search is carried out to register a trademark A patent search is carried out to register a patent.
Copyright must be unique. Trademark must be unique and descriptive enough. The patent must be unique and helpful for mankind.
Copyright registration is for a lifetime. Trademark registration needs to be renewed after every 10 years and valid till you get it renewed. Patent registration is only for 20 years and cannot be renewed.
It is done under the Copyright Act, 1957   It is done under the Trademark Act, 1999. It is done under the Patent Act, 1970.
No provisional application is required to register a copyright. It does not include any provisional application but requires a full-fledge trademark search with documentation and filing. A provisional application is required for patent registration that gives you 12 months of time file complete specification along with priority date claim.
No symbolic representation. Symbols like TM and ® shows the ongoing registration process and done registration. No symbolic representation.
Exclusive rights over the copyright are created at the moment of filing application. Trademark registration takes around 12-18 months Patent registration takes around 2 years but the applicant can stop anyone using his innovation right after the filing of the application.


These three intellectual rights may seem similar but have great differences. The common factor between them is all of them need to be original and unique to get registered. All of them are registered under different acts and have different durability. Out of them patent registration is quite costlier and requires proper documentation and guidance. All of them provide a legal identity and ownership of your property. These safeguard your valuable assets and give you the right to sell them in the amount you want. Most of the businesses, industries and enterprises rely on these intellectual property rights to secure and preserve their intellectuals and assets.

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