Copyrights vs. Trademarks: What truly is the difference?
Copyrights and Trademarks are two very important parts to the digital community. Both are intellectual property and serve as a way to protect a person’s business. But what really is the difference between the two?
Difference between Copyright vs. Trademark
Before we can dive deep into the differences first you need to know what each one of these intellectual properties actually are.
What is a Copyright?
I want to give you a direct definition straight from the source:
a) Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original
works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known
or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise
communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Works of
authorship include the following categories:
(1) literary works;
(2) musical works, including any accompanying words;
(3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music;
(4) pantomimes and choreographic works;
(5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;
(6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
(7) sound recordings; and
(8) architectural works.
(b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship
extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept,
principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained,
illustrated, or embodied in such work. https://www.copyright.gov/title17/title17.pdf
Now, I know what your thinking: Thanks Shannon, could have googled that myself. Don’t get to hasty just yet!
What does the Copyright Statue Mean?
The author, original creator, of the work: which includes, literary works (think blog posts, books, course materials, ebooks, and etc), musical works (like a play and its music), dramatic works (think movies and the soundtrack), Pantomimes and choreographic works (dances to music), Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural work (think pictures and similar items), sound recordings (your favorite song), architectural (think awesome buildings), can be protected by copyrights if it is put into a tangible medium (your word press site, a book, maybe your computer).
Find more out about Copyright Registration
What is Trademark?
Again, I am going to give this definition straight from the source:
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. Some examples include: brand names, slogans, and logos. The term “trademark” is often used in a general sense to refer to both trademarks and service marks. https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-getting-started/trademark-basics/trademark-patent-or-copyright
Also- Trademark Registration
What does the Trademark Definition mean?
A person can trademark items like, word, phrase or symbol, that separates your company( the source of the goods) from the rest of the world. The service mark does something similar: it distinguishes the services of a company.
So, What is the difference between a trademark and copyright?
At its simplest definition, the copyright protects the work and the trademark shows where the work originated.
In cases like this, examples are usually the best way to really understand which is which.
The below examples represent no endorsement by myself or the company described. These examples are for informative purposes only.
Trademark: Scary Mommy- a website and blog.
Copyright: The blog posts and pictures on the website it self
Trademark: Oprah Winfrery and Her about 1000 trademarks.
Copyright: Food, Health and Happiness (her book)
These two examples show that what is copyrighted is the actual work. The Trademark shows where that work came from. So, If you were to see a blog post and just a logo. The post would be the copyright and the Trademark would be the logo.
****Hey there sunshine! I just wanted to let you know that yes, I am an attorney, but I am NOT YOUR ATTORNEY. The information above does not put us in an attorney-client privilege contract type setting. Even though you are reading this, it doesn’t mean that I am giving you legal advice as an attorney.