The difference between copyright © and trade mark ®

What should you actually do for your company, get a trademark or will it just be fine with a copyright? This is a question I am often asked. The answer lies in the difference between a trade mark and a copyright and what type of protection your business needs.

A trade mark is either a single word, a short phrase, a picture (logo) or a combination of all of these which distinguishes your products or services from those of your competitors. Trade marks ideally need to be registered. Registered trade marks last 10 years but can be renewed.

A copyright gives you ownership over artistic creations such as paintings, photographs, poems or novels and even a logo. A copyright is an automatic right which means that you have the right to reproduce the work, distribute copies and display it publically. You own the copyright for your whole lifetime plus 70 years.

Both trade marks and copyrights provide the owner with the right to prevent others using their work. They are protected by laws and they can exist together, especially in the case of a logo. The creator of the logo automatically owns the copyright. If this is a graphic designer, they can then assign or sell the copyright to the business. A business can register the logo as a trade mark and also own the copyright which it has been granted by the graphic designer (or original owner of it).

Trade marks are very essential for businesses. The brand name or logo is the sign used by a consumer who decides whether they want to buy the product or service or not. If they have a postive experience they will repeat purchase and if they have a negative experience they will avoid it. You do not want your good brand name to suddenly be used by a competitor, who then steals all your customers with it. If you register it as a trade mark you can take action against anyone else who uses your brand name or trade mark without your permission.

Trademark Tribe offers affordable and flat fee rate online trade mark registration services to help businesses protect their fantastic brands. Start with a search to see if your mark has been registered on our website and leave the application process in our expert hands.

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