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What is the Difference between Trademark and Patent?

Ashish M. Shaji

| Updated: Jul 21, 2017 | Category: Trademark Registration

Difference between Trademark and Patent

There are many ideas that come across your mind. When you turn these ideas into creation, it is called as intellectual property. There are various types of intellectual property such as Copyright, trademark and patent. In this article we shall take a look at the difference between Trademark and Patent.

What is Trademark?

Trademark is a symbol, phrase, design which is used by the enterprises in the trade of goods or services. It distinguishes the products of one of the other similar products of competitors. It is defined under the Trade Mark Act 1999. It is mainly a mark which is capable of differentiating the goods or services of one person from the goods or services of another.

Trademark rights protect the brand name or the slogans of the business. It is used to prevent the business from using a similar symbol or mark. Trademark registration is not mandatory.

The trademark should not be descriptive but it should be small and satisfy the requirements of the registration. It creates an image for the products of the business.

Anyone who wishes to register the trademark can register the trademark with the authority.

The trademark application can be filed online on ipindia.gov.in[1] by professionals.

Benefits of Trademark

The benefits of Trademark are laid down below:

Benefits of Trademark
  • Identify the owner of the goods or services.
  • Creates the brand image of the goods or services.
  • It helps customers to identify the goods or services of one in comparison with the goods or services of another.
  • It allows businesses to build their reputation & goodwill among its customers.
  • Protects the brand name from being used by others.
  • Gives the status of ‘Branded Goods’.
  • A registered trademark provides the legal relief in case of infringement of a trademark.
  • It assures consumer about the quality of the product.
  • It enables easy marketing in business and promotion of products.
  • It gives the power to assign or transfer the trademark to others.
  • It gives legal relief in case of misuse of a trademark by competitors.

What is Patent?

Patent is an exclusive right given to a patentee for its invention for the limited period of time. It is a right granted by the government. The investor can control the using, selling, or importing of patented products by others. It provides a monopoly to the inventor.

It encourages inventors to derive benefit from their inventions. Inventions must be novel which means that it should not previously exist. It must be non-obvious that it improves the existing technology. It must be useful and that cannot be used for the illegal purpose.

A patent can be obtained only for the new and useful invention. It must relate to a machine or produced by a manufacturer. An invention must be patentable. All the inventions are innovations and patentable but all the innovations are not patentable inventions.

The applicant becomes the owner of the patent when a patent is granted. A patent can be bought, sold or licensed. The patent provides the territorial right only. An Indian patent provides rights only in India. Patent Registration is mandatory for the one who wants to protect his invention.

Benefits of Patent

The benefits of Patent are laid down below:

Benefits of Patent
  • It provides a competitive advantage.
  • It excludes others from using, selling or importing an invention of an inventor without his permission.
  • It helps in raising capital for the business.
  • The inventor can sell or rent its invention.
  • The inventor can own it for a period of 20 years.

Key Difference between Trademark and Patent

The following are the points of difference between trademark and patent:

  • Trademark is a mark or a symbol which is used by enterprises in respect of their goods or services and differentiate it from the goods or services of others in the market, whereas a patent is a right given to patentee for its invention for a limited period of time. It creates a monopoly to the inventor.
  • Trademark creates goodwill of the company in respect of branded products. The patent provides protection to the inventor in respect of its invention.
  • The trademark distinguishes the product from the other products in the market, whereas a patent is for non-obvious intention.
  • Trademark prevents others from using a similar mark which resembles the mark used by the companies, as against this a Patent owner has the right to restrict others from using, selling or importing the invention.
  • Registration of a trademark is optional whereas in the case of a patent its registration is mandatory.
  • Trademark registration is valid for the period of 10 years from the date of application. Its validity can be extended by filing an application with the authority. Patent registration is valid for a period of 20 years. Whereas the renewal fees are payable every year but the first renewal fees are payable from the third year of the patent.

For easy understanding we have made a Comparison table below.

BASISTRADEMARKPATENT
MEANINGIt is a mark or a symbol which is used by enterprises to distinguish their product from the other similar products.It is a right given by the government to the patentee for its invention for a limited period of time.
PROTECTIONIt prevents others using a similar mark or which resembles the mark registered by the enterprises.It prevents others from using, selling or importing a patented product of the inventor.
REGISTRATIONOptionalMandatory
VALIDITY  10 Years  20 Years  
RIGHTS    Right to use the mark and prevent others from using itRight to prevent others from making or selling the patented invention

Difference between Trademark and Patent: Registrar

Trademark and patent applications are examined by the controller general of patents, designs and trademarks, Ministry of Commerce And Industry.

The trademark registration application shall be filed in the manner prescribed along with the fees prescribed.

A patent application is filed in a prescribed manner with the appropriate fees. A patent application is published only after the expiry of 18 months in case no request is filed for the early publication.

Conclusion

Trademark is a mark, symbol or word which is used by the businesses in relation to a trade of goods or services. It provides protection to the owner of the trademark in respect of their product and differentiates it from the similar products of others in the market. On the other hand, Patent provides an exclusive right to patentee regarding his/her invention and restrict others from using, selling or importing the invention. This sums up the basic difference between trademark and patent.

Read our article: International Trademark Registration: A Route to Global Branding

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Ashish M. Shaji

Ashish M. Shaji has done his graduation in law (BA. LLB) from CCS University. He has keen interests in doing extensive research and writing on legal subjects especially on criminal and corporate law. He is a creative thinker and has a great interest in exploring legal subjects.

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