Trademark vs. Copyright

The difference between copyright and trademark is that, although they both endeavor intellectual property protection, they shield different kinds of assets and hold different registration requirements. Moreover, copyright protection for literary and artistic matters and works is automatically achieved upon creating the work. On the other hand, a trademark preserves objects that help define a company brand.

What is a Trademark and a Copyright?

Copyright and trademark are both important intellectual property rights that assure the creator's rights over the use of the creation for a limited period. Companies planning to register intellectual property must have a clear idea about the differences between the trademark and copyright. This will help them to obtain the right registrations to protect it. 

What are the differences between trademark and copyright?

A trademark and copyright are both intellectual property to protect rights, but they have huge differences in their function:

  • Trademarks are usually obtained to protect the brand names, business names, slogans, and more by individuals, commercial and non-commercial bodies. In comparison, copyright is ordinarily used to secure literary, dramatic, musical, and creative works, including cinematograph films and sound tapes. A software or a program or tables and databases are all protected as ‘literary work’ under Copyright Act. 
  • A unique name is assigned for a brand to be trademarked. Many companies use a trademark for the packaging of their products or on the product itself. This provides them with a unique identity with protection against their goods, brand, or mark from other people using it. The trademark owner can sue any person for using his trademark or selling any product with a mark easily confused with the original. At the same time, a copyright is a legal right that gives an independent right to an individual who earlier creates the work. A person must practice rights rightfully granted by copyright registration.  
  • The review and acceptance of a trademark application is controlled by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Whereas the Copyright Office controls the review and acceptance of a Copyright application, Department of Higher Education, and Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • Trademark registrations are valid for 10 years from when the application is filed. In comparison, copyright exists 60 years from the date of death of the creator.


Overall, both of these intellectual property protections can be significant if they're relevant to your business. Therefore, if you're doubtful of your legal rights or the method involved with formally registering a copyright or trademark, it is crucial to the requirement of the business.

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