The Difference Between Patents, Copyrights And Trademarks
Patents, trademarks and copyrights are various aspects of the same central idea. These are various kinds of intellectual property or IP that ensure protection of property rights of individuals or firms. However, there are several points of differences among the three.
Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights
One of the important differences is that the patents basically protect the tangible or conceptual inventions, while copyrights secure literary, artistic or other similar works. A trademark, on the contrary, can be a word or a symbolic design that can differentiate products of one firm from the others.
The next important thing that differentiates patents from others is the high standard of protection provided by it due to strict liability principles. In other words, irrespective of the fact that the infringer was or was not aware that he was violating the patent, he will be considered responsible for the same. Hence, patents provide a lot more protection than other types of IPRs without any scope for exceptions like fair use and other such provisions.
The usual period for a patent validity is 20 years, after which the rights of the patent owner cease to exist forever and the invention can be used by anyone. On the other hand, copyrights are usually valid for a longer period, for about 60-70 years from creation and trademarks carry on for even longer periods. Moreover, patents are capable of protecting your creation in a much more exhaustive way. Patents protect not only the final creation like copyrights do but they also safeguard the principles and techniques applied in a specific invention.
Lastly, since these three kinds of IPR offer different levels of safety for different things, the procedure for submitting an application for them are also quite different. For example, filing for a patent has to have a proper disclosure of the product, while the one for copyright needs attaching a replica of the work itself, and the one for trademark simply needs an appropriate check for similar marks in the market.
How Are Patents Different From Copyrights And Trademarks?
Patents, copyrights and trademarks are different aspects of a single idea. These are types of intellectual property that secure the interest of inventors and creators. However, there are many key points of differences among the three.
The first and foremost difference is that the patents protect rights over a tangible or conceptual invention, while the copyrights secure documents or images brought into existence by the author. For trademarks, there is no requirement for something original or innovative and they can just be a word or even a logo that distinguishes a product or firm from others.
Secondly, patents are the most effective forms of IPR, especially because they are based on strict rules and regulations. In other words, irrespective of the fact that the infringer was or was not aware that he was violating the patent, he will be held responsible for the same. Therefore, patents provide higher protection than copyrights and trademarks that permit certain exceptions like fair use etc.
The usual span for a patent validity is 20 years, which is followed by termination of the exclusive ownership rights of the owner. Copyrights, on the other hand are generally given for 60-70 years, and trademarks can continue for centuries. Moreover, patents are more exhaustive and accord broader protection than others. Put simply, a copyright protects the mere expression of ideas, while patents can safeguard the underlying processes and ideas behind the creation as well.
Finally, since these 3 categories provide different levels of IP protection for different things, the processes for submitting an application for them are also significantly different from each other. For instance, filing for a patent has to have a proper disclosure of the product, whereas the one for copyright needs attaching a copy of the work itself, and the one for trademark simply needs a proper search for confusingly similar marks that already exist.