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Trademark Vs Copyright

Scholasticus K
Trademark and copyright, belong to the same domain of legal provisions, that is of laws and statuary regulations regarding intellectual property, but still there is a difference. Keep reading to know more...
Copyright and trademark provisions have been enforced in order to protect financial interests of a person or organization, who or which holds the rights to trademark or copyright.


In generalized sense, copyright can be termed as, a provision by legal systems, that empower the creator of a specified intellectual property with rights, over its public use. The use by general public can be in any form such as by direct copying or imitation or reproducing.
Copyright is granted to scientists, architects, painters, writers and any person working or developing a useful element of science and technology or a piece of art.
According to United States constitution, copyright is an instrument that is used "to promote progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors, the exclusive right to their works".
The creators of intellectual property, who have been empowered with rights to their creation, can use them in multiple ways. They can sell the rights of the creation, like an architectural design or a painting, to general public.
They can also empower another person to use the property, like an author empowers the publisher with rights to publish and sell his writings.
When the writer permits the publisher to sell his writings, the writer demands a percentage of sales as a consideration or remuneration. If an artist holds copyrights to his paintings, then he can restrict recreation of his works.
Violation of copyrights include a commercial imitation of intellectual property, and is punishable by law in many nations across the world. The penalties for violation of a copyright, can differ from case to case or jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The penalty can vary from a monetary compensation (that is given to the creator) to a prison sentence.
Many nations across the world have adopted conventional symbol of letter 'c' enclosed in a circle to indicate copyright protection. Many international regulations and provisions have also come into being, and have been enforced to protect intellectual property on an international basis.


A trademark is a signature of the manufacturer of a particular product. It is conventionally used to protect sales of reputed manufacturers of consumer goods. According to legal provisions, the product engraved with a trademark cannot be imitated.
A fake product of same quality cannot be produced and sold under the same name and logo, if done it is considered to be a violation of trademark rights, that are held by the producer of original product.
The basic intention of a manufacturer is to distinguish his product from others in the market. An excellent example of trademarks is the McDonald's trademark of 'm'. Trademark is also used by manufacturers to help consumers differentiate original products from fake and pirated makes. There are 3 types of trademarks that are in use.
The first one is the unregistered trademark, represented by letters TM. Violation of this trademark is not legally enforceable. Service trademark is represented by letters 'SM', and is commonly used by the service sector brands. The registered trademark is the most commonly used trademark, and is legally enforceable, and is represented by an 'R', enclosed in a circle.
On comparing the trademark vs copyright protection, one thing is clear that, today, such protection is considered to be an important asset, especially by corporations. Both trademark and copyright, though different, have helped many people and organizations, protect their intellectual properties and financial interests.