Difference Between a Trademark and a Patent Explained
Trademarks and patents provide legal barriers to prevent people from stealing someone's idea or product. Someone with a new concept, invention, or new product should protect it with a patent or trademark before taking it to the market.
However, these two function in a different manner. Let’s take a look at the difference between a trademark and a patent to have a better understanding.
What Is a Trademark?
A trademark can be any phrase, symbol, word, or emblem that stands for a specific product. It also legally differentiates itself from all other products of the same kind. It helps to create exclusive ownership of a company for its products or brand. A trademark is a registered or unregistered intellectual property.
What Is a Patent?
A patent is a legal document that provides an inventor exclusive intellectual property rights for recent and useful inventions. This form of incorporeal rights enables an inventor exclusively to exploit an invention commercially within the time limits of the patent. An owner will also have sole access to the profit made from the products that his or her invention has made.
What Are the Major Differences Between a Trademark and a Patent?
Let’s see a comparison of a trademark and patent through the following key points of difference:
A trademark protects the goodwill related to the mark.
A patent protects one's ideas that have been turned into reality.
Trademark works through marks or symbols on products that represent the brand that is responsible for its manufacturing.
The patent applies to any intellectual property.
Trademark prevents other companies from using the mark.
A patent prevents other companies from selling, producing, or using the product.
A trademark registration’s duration is 10 years.
The duration of a patent is 20 years.
A businessman can decide if he or she wants to register the trademark or not.
To have a patent one has to register.
What is the Registration Process for a Trademark?
The application or registration process for a trademark has several layers to it. Let's look at them one at a time:
- Step 1: One has to choose a trademark that will be unique and represent his or her company.
- Step 2: One has to ensure that one's mark is really unique by conducting thorough research.
- Step 3: After that one should file the application to register the trademark.
- Step 4: For e-filing of the form, one has to pay according to their business bracket type.
What is the Registration Process for a Patent?
Here is a brief overview of the application process for a patent:
- Step 1: One has to determine which invention or intellectual property to have a patent for.
- Step 2: One has to find out if that property is patentable or not.
- Step 3: Then, one should decide which type of patent he or she needs.
- Step 4: After deciding on a type, one should start preparing for the application process.
- Step 5: After submitting an application one has to go through an examination process.
- Step 6: Then, one should receive their patent and keep it.
This article briefly discusses the major difference between a trademark and a patent and the aspects related to it. If someone has new ideas that he or she wants to bring into the world, should consider these differences between patents and trademarks before choosing the right one for the individual situation.