The Difference Between Trademark, Copyright, & Patent
Which type of protection is right for me?
|Recommended For||An invention with a function (such as a machine, manufactured item, process, or chemical composition)||An original creative work (such as a play, novel, song, sculpture, photograph, choreography or architectural plan).||A name, logo or symbol used to identify commercial goods or services.|
|Which federal office issues this protection?||U.S. Patent and Trademark Office||U.S. Copyright Office||U.S. Patent and Trademark Office|
|How long can the benefit/ protection last?||1 year||Lifetime of the author, plus 70 years.||10 years
You can renew your trademark every ten years.
|Where is this protection valid and enforceable?||Within the U.S.||Within the U.S.||Within the U.S.|
|Are maintenance fees required?||Provisional Applications for Patent do not require a maintenance fee.||Copyrights do not require a maintenance fee.||Trademark protection does not require a maintenance fee. To renew your trademark every 10 years, the government charges a fee.|
|Can I renew?||Provisional Applications for Patent are non-renewable.||Copyrights are non-renewable.||Yes. Trademark protection is renewable every 10 years following the initial registration.|
|If I don't file an application, do I still have ownership rights?||Without a Provisional Application for Patent, you are not assured ownership. Filing a Provisional Application is a first step toward securing ownership rights with a Non-Provisional Utility Patent.||Without a registered copyright, you still own your creative work. But with a registered copyright, your ownership can be legally verified and you can enforce federal copyright protection laws.||Without registering your trademark, you can still use the mark. But with a registered trademark, you have exclusive rights to use your mark, and you can enforce federal trademark protection.|
|Who typically applies for this protection?||Inventors||Authors, artists, choreographers, and architects.||Business or product owners.|
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