When it comes to protecting one’s intellectual property, there are a number of legal tools that a business owner or entrepreneur can use to safeguard their assets and prevent others from stealing their work.
The terms trademark, copyright, and patent are often mistakenly used interchangeably, but it’s important to note that these are all very different things that serve very different purposes when it comes to protecting your business and/or brand.
Trademark, Copyright, and Patent: What Is the Difference?
- A trademark is a word, symbol, phrase or design that helps to identify the source of a product of service.
- A copyright protects original works of authorship, musical or artistic works, such books, website copy, songs, poetry, movie scripts, software and more.
- A patent provides an inventor with the right to stop others from making, selling or using their invention for a set period of time.
It’s common for businesses to need some combination of these legal protections in order to properly safeguard their intellectual property from theft or misappropriation. A business coach, for example, may want to trademark their company name and signature tagline to prevent others from using either, or from doing business under a name that is similar to theirs and may confuse potential clients. That same coach may also choose to copyright their written coaching manuals and guides so that they can hold others accountable if their work is stolen.
A Quick Rundown: Which IP Strategy Is Best for Protecting My…
- Logo: Trademark and Copyright
- Website copy: Copyright
- Business name: Trademark
- New and unique invention: Patent
- Tagline: Trademark
- Book: Copyright
- Original artwork: Copyright
- New chemical formula: Patent
- Slogan: Trademark
- New aesthetic design of a product – Design Patent
- Graphical user interface – Design Patent
- Song or musical composition: Copyright
- A new process or method of doing something better or more efficiently: Patent
An Experienced Intellectual Property Attorney Can Help You Work Through Your Options
If you are unsure which legal protections you need to properly safeguard and protect your intellectual property, it’s a wise idea to speak with an intellectual property attorney to learn all of your options. If you’d like help getting started, we invite you to call our intellectual property law firm at 888-666-0062 to schedule a consultation.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney