What are Patents, Copyrights & Trademarks?


In a world of creativity, many people are interested in developing something new. However, when you create something original, other people may try to copy it so they can make money off of your ideas and hard work.

To protect yourself against this scenario and ensure the integrity of your creations, there are three main types of intellectual property that you can use to secure your rights: patents, copyrights, and trademarks. This article will discuss each one in more detail so that you can determine which type is best for protecting your own creations!


A patent is a grant of exclusive rights by the federal government to a “new and useful process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof” that meets three criteria:

  • Novelty – it must be different from what is already known in the art (i.e., it has not been publicly disclosed)
  • Utility – it must work for its intended purpose
  • Non-obviousness – it must not be obvious to one skilled in the art

A patent is not a right to make, use or sell the invention. It is a limited monopoly right granted by the government to exclude others from making, using, and selling an invention for a limited period of time (usually 20 years).


A copyright is a form of legal protection granted to creators of original works, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available for both published and unpublished works. Generally speaking, the creator must simply create a work to be eligible for copyright protection; however, there are other factors that can affect copyright ownership as well.

Copyrights protect original expressions fixed in any tangible medium of expression (e.g., books or movies). They do not apply to ideas or facts; only the way these things are expressed may be protected by copyrights. For example:

  • An author has a novel idea about aliens invading Earth but hasn’t written anything down yet. There is no way that this author’s idea could be protected under copyright law at this point because it hasn’t been “fixed” somehow (e.g., by writing it on paper).
  • If an author writes his novel down on paper and sells copies of his book with his name prominently displayed on each cover page then he owns all rights associated with these copies including control over who can make copies from them without getting permission first from himself as author/owner along with royalties based upon how many times each copy was viewed/used/sold etcetera).


A trademark is a word, name, symbol, or device that identifies the source of goods and services. The owner of a trademark may prevent others from using it if their business’ products are similar enough to cause confusion among consumers. The owner of a trademark may obtain registration of the mark in the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which gives them legal rights to the use of that mark throughout all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and other jurisdictions where they have obtained registrations or have pending applications.

If you want to apply for federal registration as well as state registrations for your trademark – what are known as “trademarks” – you will need an attorney’s help because there are many requirements involved with this process. If you don’t have an attorney with experience in trademarks in particular, then it’s possible that someone else could end up registering your same federally registered mark before you do!

Don’t be confused about these!

You’ve probably heard of these terms before, but maybe you’re not sure what they mean. This is because each of them is pretty specific and different from the other two.

If you need an example of how they’re different, think about your favorite movie or song. If it’s a video game, for example, you can’t copyright something like the name of a character or monster—those are trademarks. But if that same character was in a book or comic book (or even just text on its own), then it’s protected by copyright law!

So what does this mean for you? If you have an idea for a story or even just some text on its own, you can protect it with copyright law. You’ll also need to register your work with the US Copyright Office within three months of publishing it.


While each of these types of intellectual property is different, they all protect the rights of creators and innovators to profit from their work. If you need help understanding these concepts or protecting your own ideas, it’s important to speak with a qualified attorney who can help guide you through the process.

Start your Trademark

Register Your Trademark & Get The Delivery of your USPTO Serial No. In 24 Hours

Related Posts

How to Copyright a Brand Name?
How to Copyright a Brand Name?
register copyright in Mississippi
How to Register Copyright in Mississippi
How to Register a Copyright for Leather Goods
How to Register a Copyright for Lace and Embroidery

USPTO Trademark Filing in Just $49

Register Your Trademark with USPTO Today & Get Serial No. in 24 Hours