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Copyright vs. Patent vs. Trademark: Which One Is Right for You?

copyright vs patent vs trademark

Indian entrepreneurs are slowly but surely realizing the important implications of intellectual property. This article explains differences in intellectual properties, namely copyright vs patents vs trademarks, and how they help you safeguard your business ideas. Read till the end to find out which one of the three suits your business needs.

What Is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property includes scientific discoveries, literary and creative works, designs, and so on. The three most commonly known types of intellectual properties that you should be aware of are:

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR):

Intellectual Property Rights are the legal rights that enable you to protect your intellectual creations. These rights help you build a brand for your business.

The exclusive right to produce, reproduce, promote, and sell one’s original work is copyright. The majority of these works are musical, literary, artistic, architectural, or theatrical.

Electronic works, such as programs, compilations, databases, and tables may also be considered literary works. Furthermore, the primary goal of registering a copyright is to prevent copycats from misrepresenting or misusing your original works.

owning a copyrightBenefits of owning a Copyright:
  • Anyone with similar business interests cannot copy or use your brand. Someone with a different commercial interest, on the other hand, could copy or use it.
  • Only the creator or whoever has registered copyright has the right to sell/copy or use a part of the work for any reason.
  • Protection is granted for 60 years from the year in which your work is made available to the public (e.g. cinematograph films and photographs)

What Is A Patent?

A patent is applied to achieve a competitive advantage. Once a patent is granted, it provides you the exclusive right to make, use, sell, or import what you’ve invented. The patent owner is the sole owner of the rights to sell or use it.

In the manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries, patents are especially valuable. With a patent in place, the creator/company is the sole owner of the right to use the process.

owning a patentBenefits of owning a Patent:
  • For the duration of the patent’s protection, you have the authority to select who may and who may not use the patented invention.
  • In other words, patent protection prevents others from commercialising, manufacturing, distributing, importing, or selling the innovation without your permission.

What Is A Trademark?

Any name, symbol, or logo that helps consumers distinguish a product from its competitors is referred to as a trademark. They are an essential aspect of branding since they help your business remain distinct and identifiable. The registered trademark provides the exclusive right to use, sell, and modify your brand or goods in any manner.

Trademark registration is essential since it aids in the development of your company’s brand image. In India, trademarks are classified into 45 different types or divisions. A class could be, for example, footwear, metal export, or face cream manufacturing. You can register your trademark in any of the classes mentioned above.

owning a trademarkBenefits of owning a Trademark:
  • The registered trademark notifies the consumer/customer and any third party that the product(s) or service(s) provided under such registered trademark belongs to the applicant of the said trademark.
  • Furthermore, having a registered trademark permits you to use, promote, and market the mark’s goodwill. It also aids in the prevention of trademark violations and preserving your client’s loyalty.
Related read: Easy Guide To Trademark Registration Process In India


Difference Between Copyright vs Patent vs Trademark?

Copyright Patent Trademark
Meaning It is a legal right that protects the copying of your creative work It is a perfect way to protect your creations and gives you the sole right to our design It is a unique identity or expression used to identify your specific company or its goods or services
Term of registration It is dependent on the nature of your work. It lasts throughout the author’s lifetime and even after their death in literary, musical, or artistic work. It is awarded for 20 years from the date of application. It can be registered for a term of 10 years, after which you can renew it for another ten years.
Protection covers products/ ideas such as Books, articles, songs, sound recordings, and other original works of authorship. Inventions such as a specific procedure, the composition used to create an element, and so on. Any word, symbol, or other characteristic that differentiates one rival from another in the same field.
Rights granted Control over the replication and distribution of your original work is a legal right. Right to stop others from producing, selling, or importing your patented invention. Right to use the mark and prevent others from using the same mark to identify goods or services based on your brand.


Every day, thousands of business ideas cross our minds, yet not every one of them is unique or possibly significant. Your concept may or may not be intellectual property, but the creation that you may build with it is.

Copyrights, patents, and trademarks can be used to safeguard or protect your creation. They protect you (producers of goods and services) by granting you rights to regulate how your products/ designs are used.

How Can ICI Help?

As you can see, India provides business owners with a variety of intellectual property rights. However, determining which intellectual property you should opt for, can be a long and difficult process.

That’s where our expert team of professionals, with years of expertise, can help you.

Our scope services include:

  • Conducting a complete search on the Controller General of patents, copyrights, and trademarks’ website.
  • This search will help determine whether the mark of innovation/creation is available for registration in India.

We will advise you on which classes to apply for:

  • Creating and submitting application forms
  • Creating an affidavit to claim prior use of the mark
  • Creating a response to the registry objection or opposition from a third party
  • Attending hearings

Our other areas of service include:

  • Changes to the application or registration
  • Assistance with litigation
  • Assistance in renewing rights
  • Assistance in the preparation of franchising and licensing agreements, assignment deeds, and other legal documents.
Get in touch with us right away!
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