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Trademark vs Patent: Everything You Need to Know

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Last Updated on July 2, 2024 by Kanakkupillai

Although they both provide important intellectual property security, logos and patents have somewhat diverse uses. While a patent guards an idea or innovation, a trademark protects a brand name, logo, or phrase that points to the source of goods or services. The main differences are in what they guard, how they get it, and the length of safety. Businesses and artists trying to protect their intellectual property rights rely on an understanding of these differences.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark is a term, name, word, image, design, or mix of these components that sets one company’s goods or services apart from those of another. Actual business uses may create trademarks; alternatively, one can register trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Among the numerous main benefits of filing a trademark are the legal power to punish infringers using a similar mark and the chance to avoid customer misunderstanding. Trademark registration seeks to protect the image of a brand and promises customers to consistently identify the source of the goods or services they buy.

What is a Patent?

Usually for a fixed length of time, usually 20 years from the date of filing, a patent is a government award giving the creator exclusive rights to produce, use, sell, and import an invention. Patent registration provides its owners with the legal right to stop others from profitably using their patented creations without authorization. This lets the creator benefit from their innovation and recover their outlay of funds. Utility patents, design patents, and plant patents are the three basic forms of patents accessible to United States innovators. Every kind of patent protects a particular facet of a production or idea.

Key Differences Between Trademarks and Patents

What they protect distinguishes trademarks from patents most of all. While patents defend fresh ideas, discoveries, and innovations, trademarks guard words, names, symbols, or designs that identify and set apart the source of products or services. Patents provide the owner only the sole right to stop anyone from commercially manufacturing, using, selling, or importing the patented innovation for a certain term. By guaranteeing that products and services are connected to their correct source, trademarks seek to prevent customer misunderstanding. Another important distinction is that, as long as they are used and properly managed, trademarks may be renewed endlessly, but patents have a limited term.

Overlap Between Trademarks and Patents

Although trademarks and patents have different uses, sometimes there might be some overlap. Sometimes, a product design could be qualified for trademark and patent protection. For the distinctive, stylish fins on their automobiles, for example, a car manufacturer may get a design patent. The corporation may still utilize trademark law to protect the fins as a unique product identification that sets its vehicles apart from rivals if the design patent runs out. This double protection helps the manufacturer to keep design uniqueness over an extended length of time.

Conclusion

All things considered, intellectual property protection comes from rather diverse sources: trademarks and patents. Trademarks protect brand identities; patents defend fresh ideas and creations. Seeking to defend your works depends on an awareness of these differences. See a knowledgeable attorney if you have issues regarding the best approach to protect your intellectual property.

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