6 Key Contrasts Distinguishing Copyright From Trademark

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6 Key Contrasts Distinguishing Copyright From Trademark: Copyright and trademark are two essential concepts in the world of intellectual property, but they serve different purposes and protect different types of assets.

To help you grasp the distinctions clearly, we’ve outlined six key differences that set copyright and trademark apart.

6 key contrasts distinguishing copyright from trademark
6 key contrasts distinguishing copyright from trademark
  1. Nature of Protection:
    • Copyright: Copyright safeguards original creative works, such as books, music, and art, giving creators exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, and display their creations.
    • Trademark: Trademark, on the other hand, protects logos, symbols, names, and slogans that identify and distinguish goods or services in the marketplace. It’s all about branding and preventing confusion among consumers.
  2. Subject Matter:
    • Copyright: Copyright covers artistic and literary creations. Think of it as a shield for your imaginative works, be it a novel, a song, or a painting.
    • Trademark: Trademark deals with brand identity. It protects anything that sets a product or service apart from competitors, like a company logo, product name, or even a catchy tagline.
  3. Duration of Protection:
    • Copyright: Copyright protection typically lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. In the case of works created by a corporation, protection lasts for 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.
    • Trademark: Trademarks can potentially last indefinitely, as long as they are actively used and renewed periodically. This means that well-established brands can maintain trademark protection for generations.
  4. Registration Requirement:
    • Copyright: While copyright automatically applies to any original work as soon as it’s created and fixed in a tangible medium (e.g., written down or recorded), you can register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office for added legal benefits.
    • Trademark: Registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is essential to receive full protection. Unregistered trademarks may have limited rights and can be challenging to enforce.
  5. Scope of Protection:
    • Copyright: Copyright protection is broad, preventing others from reproducing, distributing, adapting, and publicly displaying the work without permission.
    • Trademark: Trademark protection is narrow and specific to the goods or services for which it’s registered. It doesn’t prevent others from using a similar mark for different products or services.
  6. Infringement Consequences:
    • Copyright: Infringement of copyright can result in legal action, damages, and the removal of the infringing material. It’s a serious offense that can lead to hefty fines.
    • Trademark: Trademark infringement can also result in legal action, but the consequences may vary. Remedies often include injunctions, damages, and even the cancellation of the infringing mark’s registration.


In summary, understanding the differences between copyright and trademark is crucial for creators and businesses alike. Copyright safeguards creative works, while trademark protects brand identity.

Knowing the distinctions will help you navigate the complex world of intellectual property and ensure your assets are appropriately protected. Whether you’re an artist, writer, or entrepreneur, these concepts play a vital role in safeguarding your intellectual property rights.

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