Difference between Copyright, Trademark and Patent

Everyone has confusion on what is the difference between patent, trademark and copyright. Even I had this confusion Once; I thought all the three were the same. No worries, we are here to help you clear out your confusions.
Let me give you a smooth ride what they are. Let’s start off with what is Patent.


Copyright is the right to exploit a work of authorship.
It helps save creativity or ideas in the form of book, image or music.
If you don’t have a copyright for your content then you cannot take any legal action if someone copies your content.

Advantage of Copyright Registration

An important advantage of a copyright is that you can benefit commercially and even earn royalty income for every time someone uses your content.

E.g. J.K Rowling was poor before she wrote her first book. She got a copyright for her books and she received money whenever one of her books got sold and she even sold her copyright of her book to Warner Bros to produce a movie with her story.

Things that could be copyrighted

Copyright can be taken for anything not only for a book but anything original like software code, images, music and etc. you can go to the copyright office or website to know what all can be copyrighted.

E.g. J.K Rowling writes another book of harry potter, she gets granted for a copyright


Procedure to apply for a copyright is very simple all you need do is submit all your basic details and the content which you want to be copyrighted.

A copyright application is filed within 3-5 days after that you will receive an acknowledgement from the government called the dairy number.

It takes at least 18 months for the government to grant you a copyright.

There are separate fees for every content you apply for a copyright.

The cost of a copyright varies with the content.


Trademark protects a word, phrase or symbol that distinguishes a source of goods for consumers, and gives service marks.

It has more to do with business than creativity. Trademark is about preventing confusion between goods and services from one brand to another.

It gives you nationwide protection.

It also gives confidence to consumers that the product under the phrase or symbol has a good quality. Types of Trademark 1) Word mark
2) Device mark

Word mark is a trademark where you can have exclusive rights to the word in a whole. Word mark protects the appearance and the usage of word as a whole.

A look which made from an image, letter, numbers and words or a combination of all is protected by Device Mark. A design or an appearance which is also called as Logo that does not include letters or numbers or words can also be protected by device mark.

What can be trademarked?

E.g. Anything that has a letter or a numeral to number of words
2) Business Names
Eg. Apple, Google
3) Slogans
Eg. “Just Do It”
4) Design Marks
Eg. Logo of Adidas
5) Trade dress
Eg. Style of packaging or design of the product

Procedure for application

1. Decide the mark/Logo which you like to be registered as Trademark.
2. Find out if there is an availability for the trade name/mark you have chosen for registration (Check out in trademark IP India and if it is available, go further with the procedure).
3. Make a clear note under which class will your trademark needs to be registered in.
*Note* If you don’t have any idea under which class your product should be placed in then refer to IP India.com .
4. Fill your application
*Note* There are loads of stages under this step.
- Examination of the trade mark
- Response to the examination report
- Hearing
- Acceptance/advertise before acceptance
- Publication for 4 months
- Registration
5. Trademark Registration Certificate
*Note* Remember to renew your certificate within 10 years from the date of filling.


Patent is the right to exclusively exploit an invention. It is all about innovation. It is used to promote and support people to invent things and bring out creativity.

Types of Patent

There are three types of patents, the major type of patent are Utility Patent and Design Patent.

Let’s have a brief look at the types of patents.

A Utility Patent protects the way something works, it includes the software, methods and processes used.

Utility patents are to prevent anyone else from providing novel functionality.

Functionality is the key to utility patent. It prevents anyone else from being able to do that, right, make or sell about the functionality aspect.

A Design Patent protects something the way it looks. It is a nonfunctional and purely ornamental.

Let it be hardware, physical objects or devices such inventions should be protected on both functional aspect under utility app and under design aspect because they may also have a novel shape and feel.

We saw the two major patents; now let’s go to the rare patent which is not used often.

Plant Patent is a very specific patent in the patent act. It covers a novel plant that is able to be grown in a lab setting and grafted together and able to be produced in a sort of a genetically modified process.

Usually plant patents are rare. It is more focused on those types of horticulture that can be grown by non-seeds.

Advantages of Patent Registration

- You can own your invention for the given time which is 20 years
- You can the patent to build business around it.
- You can rent your patent to another company or business or completely sell it.

The procedures to apply for a patent are as follows.

Patent is a techno-legal document and has a certain level of complexity in it.

An advice which I would like to give is that you get a patent agent or a professional involved in for writing and filing patent application it adds value to your file or application.

It is always better to have an experienced professional guiding you throughout the process of getting patent. It can make a large impact.

Step 1. Invention Disclosure

- Write down about your invention in a detailed manner include the area and nature and description of the invention.

*Note* Don’t forget to mention the existing solutions and advantages of your invention and add drawing or sketches to explain the working of your invention.

Step 2. Non-Disclosure Agreement

This is when you are discussing with your patent professional, supervisor or technical assistants or when you are trying to find and analyze the commercial benefits for your invention before applying for a patent. You need to protect the confidentiality of the invention by signing the non-disclosure agreement also called as NDA with the people who you are disclosing your invention to, whoever it is.

Step 3.To see if your invention is patentable.

(This is optional.) It is also called as novelty search, it helps to you know whether your invention meets all the criteria as per Indian patent Act and helps you to take a decision before filing for a patent.

Cost for registration

There is no accurate amount of cost to get a patent, it completely dependent on multiple factors. .
There are two major elements for the cost of getting a patent in India. .
1. The government fees for application form and renewal requests. .
2. Charges for hiring a professional Advocate. .
The cost of the patent varies with the number of claims and pages in the complete specification. .
*Note* the fees vary according when you apply for an individual investor or for a company.
Approximate cost to file a patent can be from 55,000/- to 1.5 lakhs which includes the fees you will be paying for the professional or the patent agent.

These are the differences between the three types of law. I hope hereafter no one gets confused and select the right type of rights for their content or product.

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