Most business owners are unaware about the most valuable asset of their business. It is their brand name under which the existence and goodwill of their business completely depends. The marketplace is overcrowded and capturing the target customer’s attention is the battle half won. These days the customers have become highly brand conscious. Thus, trademark and copyright have become the greatest influences on the consumer’s purchasing decisions.
It is, therefore, important for business or startup or creative people, to have a clear understanding about trademark and copyright. This will help them grow their business or secure their original work, for monetizing.
Trademark: A trademark is a symbol, logo, design, word, phrase, color, sound, or a combination of these, which is used for the purpose of trading goods or providing services. It indicates the source of goods or services and distinguishes them from the goods and services of others. It provides exclusivity of rights to the use of a trademark in relation to the product or service.
Copyright: Copyright is also a tool to protect intellectual property which is generally in the form of literature, sound recording, painting or sculptures, books or poetry or screenplays etc.
It grants the exclusive right of a creator of the work to specifically copy or reproduce or publish the work for monetary gains or otherwise. It doesn’t specifically require registration of the copyright.
Difference between Trademark and Copyright:
The difference between the trademark and copyright can be understood clearly on the basis of following differentiating points:
1. Target objects: The trademark acts as protection for trade name or company brand name or its logo label, taglines, slogan and domain names whereas copyright protects artistic, dramatic and musical works.
2. Purpose: The purpose of using the trademark is to retain the exclusivity of the mark for their products or services in the market, whereas the copyrights grants exclusive right to use and distribute.
3. Benefit: The trademark prevents other competitors from using similar kind of marks or texts in their branding, the sole purpose here is brand establishment and trust inculcation in customers. A copyright prohibits any person other than the creator to reproduce or sell the copyrighted work online or offline.
4. Exclusivity: Trademark not only gives exclusivity to the product or a service it is also a means to retain it. Whereas the work creator can use their copyright protected work for financial gains.
5. Recognition: Trademark gives a sense of belongingness about the product or services in the eyes of customers. The customers recognize the brand and can assume the service or product quality as per the brand value. Whereas, a copyright recognizes the original aspects of the work.
6. Duration of validity: The trademark registration is valid for 10 years which can be renewed to protect it from infringers. Whereas, a copyright is valid for lifetime. For an individual owner, the term of copyright is the lifetime of the author plus 60 years. For a non-individual owner, a copyright may last up to 60 years from the date of the publication.
7. Symbol of Identification: The trademarked product or logo or service is permitted to use the ® sign after the registration. Whereas, the symbol © is used for protection of copyrighted original works. It doesn’t mandatorily require registration but registration proves the originality.
8. Registration: For using ® trademark symbol, registration of the mark is mandatory but using © symbol as a measure to add copyright protection doesn’t mandatorily require registration, but registration proves the originality.
A copyright owner earns his recognition from the originality of his work, which is further protected by the copyright, and a business builds its goodwill under a chosen trademark. As it is said “half the battle is won in the mind”, therefore these invaluable assets nurture the trust value of the customers. Thus it is immensely important for a business person to seek the protection of these tools to secure the originality of their work or investment.