Copyright vs. Trademark: What's the Difference?

May 02, 2024By Family Visit Expert



When it comes to protecting intellectual property, two terms that often come up are copyright and trademark. While they are both forms of legal protection, they serve different purposes and cover different aspects of intellectual property. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between copyright and trademark to help you understand how they can benefit your business.

What is Copyright?

Copyright is a legal protection that grants exclusive rights to the creators of original works, such as literary, artistic, musical, or dramatic works. It gives the creator the right to control the reproduction, distribution, and public display of their work. Copyright automatically applies to any original work once it is created and fixed in a tangible form, such as a book, painting, or song.


What is Trademark?

Trademark, on the other hand, is a legal protection that grants exclusive rights to use a particular name, logo, or design that distinguishes a product or service from others in the marketplace. It helps consumers identify the source of goods or services and protects the reputation and goodwill associated with a brand. Trademarks can be registered with the government, usually at the national or regional level, to obtain additional legal protection.


Scope of Protection

Copyright Protection

Copyright protects the expression of ideas, not the ideas themselves. It covers original works of authorship, including literary, artistic, musical, and dramatic works, as well as software, architectural designs, and more. Copyright protection is automatic and lasts for the life of the creator plus an additional period, typically 70 years after the creator's death.

Trademark Protection

Trademarks protect names, logos, symbols, and other distinctive elements that identify and distinguish goods or services in the marketplace. Trademark protection can be renewed indefinitely as long as the mark continues to be used and remains distinctive. However, it is important to actively use and enforce trademarks to maintain their strength and prevent them from becoming generic terms.



Copyright Enforcement

Copyright infringement occurs when someone uses, copies, or distributes copyrighted material without permission from the copyright owner. Infringement can result in legal action, including damages and injunctions. Copyright owners can also register their works with the government to establish a public record of their ownership, making it easier to enforce their rights.

Trademark Enforcement

Trademark infringement occurs when someone uses a mark that is confusingly similar to an existing trademark, causing a likelihood of confusion among consumers. Trademark owners can enforce their rights through legal action, seeking damages, injunctions, and other remedies. Registering a trademark provides additional legal protection and strengthens the owner's ability to enforce their rights.


In summary, copyright and trademark are both important forms of legal protection for intellectual property, but they serve different purposes. Copyright protects original works of authorship, while trademark protects names, logos, and designs that identify and distinguish goods or services. Understanding the differences between copyright and trademark can help you protect your creative works and build a strong brand identity for your business.