When running a business, it is important to do everything you can to protect your intellectual property. Two of the main methods to accomplish this are copyrights and trademarks. While they are both used for similar things, there are actually some very significant differences that you need to be aware of. Understanding the difference between copyrights and trademarks will ensure you apply for the correct one in every situation.
What is a Copyright?
A copyright is used to protect the authorship of original works. This can include books, articles, sculptures, sound recordings, motion pictures, songs, photographs, and more. In order to qualify for a copyright the work being protected has to be original. Technically speaking, you do not actually have to apply for a copyright since the protections are automatically vested when some original work has been created.
That being said, if you do not take the right steps to establish your copyright it will be much more difficult to enforce. This is why it is important to actively protect your original works with a copyright, which can be enforced quickly if your rights are violated. With a copyright you can control virtually every aspect of the protected works for your entire life. Even after your death, your estate or other heir can maintain these rights for 70 years after your death.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is intended to protect an original phrase, word, design, symbol, or other item that is used to identify and distinguish the products, services, or other property between parties. The most common example of this would be a trademarked brand logo. Without a registered trademark, a competing company could make a similar logo to try to confuse customers into purchasing their products.
Once a trademark is registered it will remain in place and enforceable for as long as it is used in commerce. This means you can trademark your company name or logo and enjoy the protections as long as you are in business.
Get the Legal Protections You Need
Whether you are looking to establish a new copyright or trademark, or you need to enforce an existing one, we are here to help. Neve Webb works closely with entrepreneurs and business owners to help protect your legal rights. We will be more than happy to discuss your specific situation and help you to protect all your intellectual property rights. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.
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