Trademark vs Copyright – Which one is right for your company or business

The financial picture of a business isn’t measured only by the amount of money it makes. It also takes into consideration the assets including intellectual property. All these assets can boost a company’s net worth. Companies have the right to file a case against others who use their intellectual property without permission or without paying the required fees. Obtaining trademarks and copyrights help in protecting businesses from illegal use of their property. The article here discusses Trademark vs Copyright in detail.

The primary points of difference in trademark vs copyright are that they protect different types of assets and have different registration requirements.

Trademark vs Copyright- Points of differentiation

Trademark vs Copyright have points to easily differentiate them that are as follows :

  1. Copyright gives rights to the creator or the rightful owner of his/her intellectual property. It prevents others from publishing or copying the original piece of work. On the other hand, anything which recognizes the brand identity and separates a product or service from those of the competitors are Trademarks.
  2. In India, the Trademarks are governed under the Trademark Act, 1999 vs Copyright Act, 1957 that governs Copyrights.
  3. The motive of copyright is an artistic and literary creation while that of a trademark is goods and services.
  4. Normally, a registered trademark is issued for 10 years. The owners can renewal the payment of prescribed fees. The rightful owner has copyrights for a lifetime.
  5. Copyright covers any original creation. Conversely, a trademark covers anything which the owner uses to recognize the brand name behind the product.
  6. Copyright prevents others from using the original creation. On the other hand, a trademark protects the public from confusion or prevents others from using a similar mark.
  7. Copyright has international coverage, but a trademark covers a particular country, normally where the business deals with its goods.

These are the basic points of consideration for Trademark vs Copyright.

Concept of Trademark

A trademark is a unique symbol, word(s), design, expression, or a sign which is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from other enterprises. Intellectual property rights protect trademark rights. When the owner of a trademark effectively uses and promotes the trademark, it becomes one of the most valuable assets of an enterprise.

Trademark vs Copyright

Also Read: Trademark Classification

Who can file for a Trademark?

The persons who can file for a trademark are:

  • Legal or natural business owners
  • Product owners

The legal or natural business owners, product owners can file a trademark after a thorough Trademark Search.

Also Read: Documents for Trademarks

What does a Trademark protect?

  • Trademarks protect the brand name of a business which helps in distinguishing its goods and/or services from other competitive brands.
  • It protects a name, word, slogan, symbol, design, mark, and/or image identifying a business or brand and distinguishing it from others in the same field.

Also Read: Trademark Infringement

What are the benefits of obtaining a Trademark?

  • The primary benefit of a trademark is that it creates a unique image of the business in the market
  • Also, it enhances its position in the market.
  • When a person obtains a trademark, no other person can use the prior registered trademark legally.
  • If another person uses that trademark, the owner of the trademark can sue the infringer.

Also Read: Trademark Protection

How much time is involved in the Trademark Registration Process?

The trademark registration process involves various stages which include:

  • An effective Trademark Search to avoid oppositions
  • The examination of the application
  • Publication of the trademark in journals or newspapers for opposition
  • Registration of the Trademark.
  • Usually, the process of trademark registration takes a period of 6 to 12 months.

For how long a trademark is valid?

  • Generally, a trademark is valid for 10 years.
  • After the expiry of the trademark period, the trademark owner can apply for the trademark renewal.

Meaning of Copyrights

Copyright is a form of Intellectual Property that gives the legal right to the originator of literary work. It provides legal protection to original work which is in a tangible form, whether published or non-published. The rights that creators have over their literary and artistic works are Copyrights. No other person can copy the copyrighted work without permission or without paying the required fees. E-filing of copyright registration is an easy process but it may contain some uncertainty.

Trademark vs Copyright


Who can obtain a Copyright?

The persons who can obtain a Copyright are:

  • Authors
  • Artists
  • Choreographers
  • Architects
  • Other creative professionals can obtain a copyright for their artistic work.

What does Copyright protect?

Copyright can protect various things :

  • original works of artistic work
  • authorship
  • photographs
  • books
  • novels
  • sculptures
  • choreography
  • architectural works
  • sound recordings
  • motion pictures
  • Other creative works

What are the benefits of obtaining Copyrights?

The main benefit of obtaining copyrights is that no other person can legally use or copy the work which has copyrights. The copyright holder can sue the infringer in court for infringement of copyright.

For how long Copyrights are valid?

Once a person claims a Copyright, it is valid for a lifetime.

Which works cannot appeal for Copyrights?

Works that cannot obtain copyrights include:

  • Works that are not available in some tangible form. For instance, a speech that isn’t present in recording or writing cannot obtain Copyrights.
  • Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans, including book titles are also don’t capable of obtaining copyrights.
  • Familiar symbols or designs, typographic variations, or coloring.
  • Processes, concepts, ideas, procedures, methods, systems, principles, discoveries, or devises
  • Works that are “common property” or are in the public domain, like historical facts or measurement conversions cannot acquire copyrights.

Protecting Your Copyright

There are many precautions you can take to make sure the potential copyright infringers don’t use your work without permission.

  • For example, make sure your work has proper marks, such as signed or with a watermark.
  • There is a practice named “poor man’s copyright”. This is the practice of sending your work to yourself, thereby establishing that the material has been in one’s possession for a particular period. However, there exists no provision in copyright law for any such type of protection, and poor man’s copyright is not a substitute for registration.
  • Creative Commons is a good source for those things that need copyright protection. At a minimum, you can use the © symbol to denote a copyrighted work.
  • However, in case someone does use your work without your permission or otherwise infringes your copyright—and if it’s valuable enough—you would like to fill a form, pay a fee and send a copy of the work to the Copyright Office to officially copyright the work.
  • Registering also adds your copyright to the public record, and you will receive a certificate of registration. If registration is completed within five years of publication, it is also considered prima facie evidence in a court of law.

Also Read: Copyrights Protection in India


Trademarks and Copyrights are the intangible assets of a company that are used to protect intellectual property. They are registered with the name of the rightful owner who created the asset. The Copyrights are used to safeguard all intellectual work and the rights of its creator. On the other hand, the trademark is used to safeguard the distinctive mark of the company that helps in distinguishing the name of the company from others. It prevents others from using a mark that can confuse the customer’s mind regarding the product or service. So, the Trademark vs Copyright, as both of them different on their part but plays a major role in every country for business and companies.

If you are looking for Trademarks and Copyright registration and take your business to a great level of success, you can visit our website Trademark Cart. We provide Trademark Registration in India, Trademark Registration in the USA, Trademark Registration in Dubai, and many more services.

Our experienced and dedicated experts will provide you with timely and accurate information regarding all your queries. Give us a call at +91 8750008585 and we will guide you in the best possible way.

Related Articles :

Trademark Application Status

Indian Trademark Registration

Trademark Registration in India

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