A business’ revenue is not the only important measure of its overall worth. A company’s intellectual properties can largely contribute to its net worth as well and bolster its value and profitability in the market. Companies are able to protect their various intellectual properties, given the right to file suit against anyone who uses or imitates the property without getting permission. Protection of these assets is provided to a company through trademarks and copyrights. Here we will help to clarify the difference between trademark and copyright, as well as define what exactly an intellectual property is.
What are intellectual properties?
A business’ works, processes, symbols, specially made designs are considered intellectual properties, and are legally owned by the company. Examples of these may be such things as logos, slogans, or creative artistic works by the company. To enforce ownership of such properties, a business must file with the US Patent and Trademark Office or the US Copyright Office, based on which kind of property they are trying to protect.
The protection offered to a company through the Copyright Office pertains primarily to works that are “literary, musical, dramatic, artistic, or otherwise intellectual.” Written, audio, or visual works are examples of where copyright protection applies. These works are copyrighted at the time of creation, however, a company must register the copyright if they wish to sue another party for using it without permission. To officially copyright a work, a company must fill out a form, pay a fee, as well as deliver a copy of the work to the US Copyright Office.
The protection offered to a company though the Trademark Office is different in that is pertains mainly to “words, names, symbols, sounds, or colors” that differentiate their goods from those of other competitors in the industry to indicate the source of the goods. Examples of these properties include names, slogans, and logos that brand the company or their distinguished products. Before a company registers a trademark, they must perform a trademark search to make sure it isn’t already in use. The legal consequences of mishandling a trademark can be big, so many companies opt to use a lawyer to assist in the process of the trademark search and filing the trademark.
The difference between trademark and copyright is that, while they both protect a company’s intellectual property, each is used to protect a different kind of asset for a business. Copyright is many concerned with artistic and literary properties, while trademarks are focused on defining the company’s brand, like a logo. So a movie studio can trademark the name of the studio, but copyright the films it produces.