With rapid advances in technology comes the need to protect, secure and police intellectual property rights, the currency in the digital marketplace.
From artists to businesses, musicians to public figures, intellectual property rights create and protect brand identity and trade, safeguard new products and concepts and provide a source of income. Whether these works are derived from an original art, publishing rights, or profiting from the use of name and likeness, if not properly protected, a significant loss in company income, profit, or identity may occur.
What’s the Difference Between a Copyright and Trademark?
Copyrights protect creative works (i.e. think creative works in the fields of music, literary and the arts). Trademarks protect a company name, logo or jingle. With the former, you file for protection with the US Copyright Office. With the latter, the United States Patent and Trademark Office regulates protection.
There can be a good deal of confusion about the scope and protections afforded to copyright works and the meaning of “creative works.” This is subject to interpretation and left to the courts to decide issues on a case-by-case basis. The main idea to remember is that copyright protection requires an original work and must be in a form like a book, recording or software program, to name a few examples.
Trademarks protect a brand name or mark from confusion with other competitors who may use similar or misleading name/marks in commerce. Trademarks not only protect a company’s name or logo, but it also protects consumers from misleading third-party’s use of a name or symbol that belongs to another company.
Whatever security a business needs in its name or products, filing for either trademark or copyright is one step to safeguard valuable company property and preventing misuse of its name or brand products.