What is the difference between a Trademark and a Copyright?
While speaking at conferences and webinars a frequent legal question that continuously seems to come up is the difference between a trademark and copyright.
And there is indeed a distinction between a copyright and a trademark. And although both are forms of intellectual property, they each are distinctly different types of protection.
Copyright – is a legal form of protection afforded to any original work of art or authorship that has been reduced to a tangible form. Examples again are books, articles, eBooks, photos, videos, poems, jewelry, and choreographed works. For more information on copyright, take a look at this page and check out the U.S. Copyright Office website.
Trademark – a name, word, phrase, logo, or a combination of those things that identifies the source of a product or a service. Examples are Nike, Microsoft, Apple, the golden arches, the Nike swoosh symbol. For more information on trademark, take a look at this page and check out the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office website.
If your logo is important to you, and if it is at the core of your business, you should speak with a lawyer on a one to one basis and get some specific legal advice regarding your situation. Any information provided here is purely general informational and not legal advice.
You can read more in detail on the distinctions of both on the United States Patent & Trademark Office website here.
Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward providing you with useful information to help you protect what’s yours. If you have a question you want me to answer in general terms, feel free to post the question on the comment section. You can also connect with me through my Legal Facebook Page, my Legal Twitter Page, one of my Google+ Circles, or through one of my LinkedIn Group discussion.