Copyright vs. Trademark vs. Registered Trademark

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Difference between Copyright, Trademark and Registered Trademark

Today, it's important to obtain a copyright or trademark to protect your goods and services.Copyright refers to ownership of the written works or other works of art like music albums and movies. Trademark refers to the symbol or name of a company which is indicated on its goods. Trademark also applies on services known as service mark. For example, a trademark can prevent the use of a machine produced by a company by someone else. He can't sell it as its own unless he has obtained permission for the same. But, if the machine is protected by copyright, then only its description can't be copied by someone to promote their own goods.

The registered trademark is different from the trademark as the former is used for symbols pertaining to a certain good or service. The trademark is related to every identification symbol of a company like its phrases, symbols, music whereas registered trademarks are the superscripts used by a company.

Registered Trademark

1. Place of registration

The registration of the trademark is done at the US patent and trademark office whereas copyrights are authorized at the US copyright office.

2. Rules of protection

The terms of protection under a copyright to the issued are valid for a period for 10 years. But if proper maintenance is done of the trademark, this term can be extended indefinitely. Copyrights on the other hand have an immense life. They are taken for duration of the author's life and additional 70 years after his death. After such 70 years, the creation becomes public domain or public property and anyone can use it under his/her own name. On occasion, sons and daughters of an author also claim such copyrights. For example, Michael Jackson's songs are still the property of his children. Wherever they are being used, it is being done under his name only.

3. Tradability

The very valid difference between copyright and trademark is that the latter can be sold by artists in return for some royalty or remuneration to companies, but trademarks can't be traded as they can ruin the reputation of the company. Any plagiarized trademark is considered a violation. Although, trademark infringement is not very popular as a copyright violation which has become so commonplace now. It's also tough for someone to prove the copyright of a certain work by someone unless he/she is a famous author or singer. Trademark infringement can be proved easily in the court of law.

Governing laws

The federal rule governing the trademark is the federal Lanham Act whereas copyright is legalized by the federal Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. 101).

Similarities and Differences

  • Violation.

    Copyrights have a totally different domain from the trademarks. It is quite costly to file trademarks and it can cost a company somewhere around $375 to get its logo registered. But the fees for filing a simple copyright is quite low at $45.
  • Processing time.

    Less time is also required in processing a copyright unlike trademark which is quite a lengthy process.
Which offers the best protection?
  • Copyright
  • Trademark
  • Registered Trademark

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