Trademark vs. Copyright: What Creative Businesses Must Know

Trademark vs. Copyright: What Creative Businesses Must Know

Trademarks and copyrights are both valuable tools that you need to protect the intellectual properties of your business. Another company might sue you with infringement claims or may try and copy your ideas. This is intellectual property theft, and with trademarks and copyrights, you can claim your property rights and save your company ideas from being stolen or copied.

While both copyrights and trademarks seem similar and may be confused with one another, they are not interchangeable. They are used to protect and legally register an original idea, product or service or even a piece of art or music.

What Is A Trademark?

Trademarks are defined as a specific word, name, symbol, or combination to create an identity for your particular product or service. It gives it an identity and makes it memorable for all those who see it. A trademark must be unique and catchy as it can help your business grow to great heights.

What Is A Copyright?

A copyright is an exclusive right to create, recreate, perform or publish an original piece of literary, theatre or musical work. The work's creator will be known as the copyright owner and has exclusive ownership rights to his work.

The Difference between the Two:

  • • A copyright is created automatically upon the production of original work, whereas trademarks are established through the everyday use of a mark throughout a business
  • • Copyrights have an expiry date to them and may not be used beyond that time, whereas trademarks have no end date provided they are in use continuously
  • • Copyrights protect original artwork that includes books, novels, art, theatre, films, videos, architecture, songs, software and many other forms of music and videos.
  • • Trademarks protect brands, logos, slogans and brand names specific to the product or service you are selling.

What Creative Industries Must Know

Creating something is hard work! It requires a lot of time and effort and can be pretty challenging to come up with something original that has never been done before. Once you come up with something outstanding, it is imperative to ensure it remains protected and someone else doesn't steal your idea and benefit from it.

Creative industries such as advertising firms, galleries, radio and TV production companies, publishing firms, and performing arts and software companies must constantly produce newer, more inventive original work to keep thriving. Once created, their work must immediately be copyrighted to prevent intellectual property theft. Once copyrighted, your work is legally owned by you or your employer and cannot be affected by anyone else. No one can steal your work or claim it as their own.

Your work remains original for up to 70 years and will even outlive the owner that created that work. Copyright laws also motivate creators to continue creating without worrying about their work being stolen or copied by someone else.

End Note

While both trademarks and copyrights protect intellectual property rights, they cannot be used in place of the other. Each has its own uses and must be taken advantage of where required. If you need any help in trademarking or copyrighting for your small business, visit Business Rocket and let their expert team handle it.