STEP #6- DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRADEMARKS, COPYRIGHTS, & PATENTS
In today’s businesses, there are companies that people can not tell the difference between. Some are good and some are very awful. Know and remember which is which because there nothing worst than having a bad experience twice. That is why companies need to stick out when they are very good. People remember the bad times a lot more than the good times and the same goes for services. Keep customers coming to you, by sticking out from the rest and one way of doing that will be companies’ Intellectual Property. An intellectual property would be a business’s uniqueness. A business unique idea and knowledge gives them an advantage over the competition. These unique intellectual property should be protected and to protect them you can have Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents to them.
A trademark is distinctive word, name, symbol, or device (or a combination of all of them). A trademark is used to distinguish a product or service. Whatever name, word, or symbol a business use must be different than others in the same business. A business can not register a trademark already in use or registered. A business will have to register their trademark within their state the business is in. When a business figure out that unique trademark, they should go to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and register it. Trademarks have a familiar symbol next to it (® with a ‘r’ inside) To register or to find out if a trademark is already being used, go to: www.uspto.gov.
Patent is for an invention which grants the property right to the inventor, issued by the USPTO (U. S. Patent & Trademark Office). A patent last 20 years from the date which the application for the patent was filed. U.S. patents grant effective only the U.S.. A patent allows the inventor an exclusive right to obtain financial benefits for their invention & allowing them to recover their investment in time & money before others are allowed to get a piece of the pie. An example would be if a person spend 10 years trying to invent the 2 wheel car and finally does. If he/she get a patent on it and a month later, a bigger company start making 1,000s of them and put the inventor out of business, he/she can benefit financially from them for all the work done in the last 10 years, plus his/her investment in the 2 wheel car.
That is the difference between a Trademark, a Copyright, & a Patent. Owners/Inventors need to apply for trademark as for their unique business symbol, a copyright when the song is completely written, or for a patent when the invention is thought of, started on, or finished. Do not be one of those who say, Hey that was my idea! Have the proof.