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Differences in Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents

Every new business possesses its own unique characteristics, but with the cutthroat nature of modern business, many of these new companies operate on very similar ideas and platforms. New startups seemingly pop up every day. It is imperative for them to get a jumpstart on protecting their intellectual property so that they can retain their competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents

All new ideas must be protected. However, not all protection methods are the same and it is important to understand the different types so that you use the correct method to protect your intellectual property. Trademarks, copyrights, and patents all cover different benefits and offer different levels of protection. Below is a simple breakdown of the three types of intellectual protection methods:

  • Trademarks: Utilized for any word, name, symbol, or design that is used to signify the identity and brand of a specific good. These tend to include logos, company names, and sub brands. They must be used in commerce and be distinctive enough from common usages of a word or design. Unregistered trademarks can still be protected through common law or state statues.
  • Copyrights: Copyrights are applicable to creative works such as books, cinema, and other art forms. This provides the original creator with exclusive rights of sale that lasts a set period of time. However, in order for a copyright to be granted, the work must be encased in a tangible medium and does not extend to an idea or thought.
  • Patents: A patent is provided for any innovation that meets five requirements 1). Patentable subject matter 2). Utility 3). Novelty 4). Nonobviousness 5). Enablement. Patents include inventions in machine or manufacturing and typically last for 20 years from the date of filing.

It may be challenging to decide which protection you should seek for your idea. An attorney may be able to help you figure out how to best classify your intellectual property.

Contact a Dallas Intellectual Property Lawyer Today

If you have a new innovative idea for a business or an invention, it is vital to seek intellectual property protection early so that your idea can remain yours. Our intellectual property attorneys at Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., are experienced in protecting intellectual property for a variety of different cases. Call us today at (214) 824-1414 so that we can help determine what protection method may be best for you.