TMCnet Feature
June 28, 2022

Trademark vs Copyright: Understanding Different Types of Intellectual Property

What is the difference between a trademark and a copyright? We’ll discuss it in this guide. It’s important to protect your intellectual property.

That’s because you’ll have ownership over your creations. If someone were to steal or infringe it, you can take legal action. You shouldn’t allow anyone to steal what’s yours so they could make it their own.

We will be talking about the different types of intellectual property and their definitions. Not all types of intellectual property are created equal. But they are protected under the laws so you can determine who can use it with your consent.

We’ll take a look at the different IP types shortly. But first, let’s discuss the difference between trademark and copyright.

What is the difference between trademark and copyright?

To begin, a trademark is used for protecting intellectual property such as logos, sounds, colors, symbols, and words used by a brand. Examples of such IP include the McDonald’s Golden Arches, and the Twitter (News - Alert) bird logo among others.

Trademarks can be used to cover a large amount of products. These are protected under the Trademark Act of 1946, which covers trademarks, service marks, and infringements that may occur.

A copyright uses laws to protect the original works made by the creator. The work should already be completed in order for it to receive a copyright. Copyright laws do not cover ideas since they are not considered pieces of original work.

Someone could have the same idea and create it into something. This is not a copyright violation. After a piece of work is created, it is owned by the creator.

However, they can choose to register it with the U.S. Copyright Office to make it legally official. Consider that your option if you have the financial means.

If you need legal help, Heer Law will be able to assist you. They are experts in copyright and trademark law and they can help keep what’s yours protected.

Different types of intellectual property

With trademark and copyright as the two major types of intellectual property, there are others we can discuss briefly. Let’s take a look at what they are and why they’re important:


Patents are used as an IP for inventors. They can create something that they have invented and have it patent protected so no one else can steal it. In order to qualify for a patent, you will need to have already discovered and created a new product that you intend to sell on the market.

Keep in mind that patents cannot protect you from reverse engineering. A competitor can take your patent and use it to make your idea even better by modifying or enhancing it. This is something that is commonplace in the tech industry among others.

Trade secrets

Trade secrets are confidential information that is often shared by corporations. This can be used in an effort to get an edge on the competition. Only employees on a need to know basis will need to protect these trade secrets.

Leaks are commonplace due to corporate espionage or even a breach of contract.

Final Thoughts

If you are a business owner, inventor, or part of a corporation, it’s important to determine which IP type fits you best. Regardless, finding an intellectual property lawyer will help you protect what’s yours.

If and when your IP is infringed, you can use your legal services to prove there was wrongdoing and be compensated for damages. Heer Law is your choice in intellectual property law. Contact us today for a consultation if you are dealing with infringement issues.

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