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Difference Between Patent, Copyright and Trademark


The patent, Copyright, and Trademark are all different kind of intellectual property rights that provide the creator with an exclusive right to use his/her creation of mind for the limited time frame. Entrepreneurs who are looking to register intellectual property must know the differences between the 3 and obtain the right registrations to protect their intellectual property.

Overview on Intellectual Property Rights

These are legal rights that govern the use of human creations. It recognizes the creation of human mind and allows creator to do what he or she wants to do with such creation. It permits to take legal action against someone who infringes these rights.

With the Trade related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights[1] agreement of WTO, the intellectual property rights attained authority to enforce law internationally. Various intellectual property rights include the following:

What is Patent?

The patent is a special right for an invention provided by the law for a restricted time frame to Patentee. By patenting a unique invention, the patentee is capable of controlling the creation, using, selling or importing of patented product or process for producing that product and lacking his/her consent. Any invention linking to a product or process of such product that is new, involving ingenious step and is capable of industrial application, that can be patented in India.

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a right given by the regulation and rules of relevant law to people who are creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic and inventive works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. Copyright doesn’t-safeguard brands or names, short word combinations, slogans, short phrases, methods, plots or factual info. Copyright doesn’t defend ideas or concepts. Hence, copyright is mainly used as a safety measure for the creativity of writers, artists, designers, dramatists, musicians, architects and producers of sound recordings, cinematograph films and computer software.

What is Trademark?

Trademark is a visual symbol or image that may be a word signature, name, device, label, numerals or combination of colors used by an Enterprise or any person on all goods or services or in all other articles of commerce to discriminate it from other like goods or services originating from diverse undertakings. Therefore, trademarks are used mostly to protect brand names, business names, slogans and much more.

What is the difference between Patent, Copyright and Trademark?

The Difference of all three are provided in the table made below:






Trademark is basically a logo, image, text, or sound that has the ability to tell again people about the products and services of a company or organization.

Copyright is a right stated by regulation and rules provided in law to creators of work of literary, dramatic, musical and creative works and other producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings etc.

The patent basically offers the right to inventors to stop other persons from manufacturing their invention.

Who seeks?

Business and also the product owners should file for a trademark.

Copyright can be taken as a safeguard by authors, artists, choreographers, architects, and any other creative professionals for their work.

The inventors and designers file for patents protection.

What it protects?

Trademark protects a name, word, slogan, symbol, design, and/or image identifying a business or brand and making unique it from others in the same field.

While an idea can’t be copyrighted, the tangible form of an idea can be. This consist of original works of authorship, photographs, sculptures, choreography, architectural works, sound recordings, motion pictures, and all other creative works.

A patent safeguards inventions with a novel or improved purpose. This comprises of different machines, processes, or chemical compositions, or all the design for some product.


Registering a trademark enhances the rights of the person by giving a legal proof and a public notice of ownership. It is evidenced enough by a nationwide exclusive right to the mark and permits the holder to sue an infringer if the case demands it.

Copyrighting offers a person with legitimate evidence and public notice of ownership. A person can be prosecuted in a court for infringement of copyright provided that person has the papers in place.

When a patent is filed, the owner gets an exclusive right to avoid others from making, using, selling, or importing the secured invention.


Registered trademarks can use the ® symbol. Nevertheless, a trademark is valid for an unlimited period of time, it must be renewed every 10 years.

A copyright is in force for a lifetime.

A patent protects an invention for 20 years, but it can’t be renewed. A provisional patent lasts for about a year.


Intellectual property rights such as patent, copyright and trademark have been provided to recognize the intellect of human mind and its creation. Its provision allows their owners to seek protection in case of infringement and motivates them to create more innovations.

Read our article:A Comprehensive Analysis on Assignment of Copyright

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 corporate law. He is a creative thinker and has a great interest in exploring legal subjects.

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