There are two types of intellectual property that you should be familiar with: trademarks and patents.
Both protect your business assets but have different functions in relation to protecting your intellectual property.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the difference between a trademark and a patent, how they work together, and what they each do for you as an entrepreneur trying to protect your ideas from competitors.
What is a Trademark?
The term trademark refers to a combination of words, phrases, and/or designs that identify the source of goods.
A trademark can be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
What is a Patent?
A patent is a form of intellectual property that protects an invention or discovery. It’s also called a utility model, which means it protects the idea behind an invention rather than its physical form.
A patent lasts 20 years from the date of filing if granted and expires after this time period if not renewed or challenged. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) maintains records for each application process, so you can verify that yours has been approved or rejected by searching its database online at www.uspto.gov/patents/.
The Difference Between Trademark and Patent
Trademark protects the name and logo of a company, while patent protects the invention. The difference between trademark and patent is that trademarks are registered with the state, while patents are registered with federal government.
Trademark can be a word, phrase or symbol used by different companies in order to identify their products; however it doesn’t have any legal meaning until someone else uses it too (for example Nike). If you want to protect your trademark rights then you need to file an application with the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) before anyone else could use it.
Protecting Your Creative Interests
Another important difference between patent and trademark law is that a patent protects your creative interests. A patent gives you the exclusive right to make, use or sell an invention for 20 years after its filing date (the earliest date it can be filed).
It also provides protection against imitation of its functionality or design elements by others who would seek to use those same ideas in their own products without permission from the original inventor.
A trademark is used to protect business assets such as logos, slogans and product names; these are often referred to as “trademarks” because they serve as distinctive indicators of source (i.e., who made them).
For example: if you own a company called “Coffee Bean Machine,” this name would be considered one form of intellectual property under UCC 2-611(a)(1) which states that “[t]he owner’s right includes any proprietary right arising out of an article made solely by himself/herself.”
As you can see, there is a lot of overlap between trademark and patent. Trademark law protects your business assets while patent law protects your inventions. This means that if you’re planning on protecting your creative works or products with trademarks, then we recommend talking to an attorney first. Get a free consultation now!