Trademarks and copyrights are both types of intellectual property that protect creative works. However, there are some key differences between the two.
Trademarks protect words, phrases, symbols, and designs that are used to identify the source of goods or services. For example, the Nike swoosh is a trademark that identifies Nike shoes. Trademarks can be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), but they are also protected under common law.
Copyrights protect original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works. Copyrights also protect software, databases, and other creative works. Copyrights are automatically created when a work is created, and they do not need to be registered with the USPTO.
So, what’s the difference between a trademark and a copyright?
- Trademarks protect brands, while copyrights protect creative works.
- Trademarks must be registered with the USPTO, while copyrights are automatically created.
- Trademarks are used to identify the source of goods or services, while copyrights protect the expression of ideas.
Which one do I need?
If you are creating a brand for your business, you will need to register a trademark. This will protect your brand from being used by others.
If you are creating a creative work, such as a book, song, or software, you will automatically own the copyright to that work. You may want to register your copyright if you want to take legal action against someone who infringes on your copyright.
If you have any questions about trademarks or copyrights, please contact WINTER LLP today for a consultation.