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You may have heard the terms trademarks, copyrights, and patens and though they were all the same. They are not, but they are all related to ownership of intellectual property. Trademarks, copyrights, and patents are different tools that can be used to protect business and personal ideas and content.

It is important to have a clear working knowledge of what they are since we run into them daily. Business owners, inventors, and content developers like artists, musicians, and writers, all have a need for these forms of protection to safeguard their work. Others should know about the protection of intellectual property to ensure that they do not accidentally plagiarize or use another person’s work without permission.

Trademarks are generally identifying information to identify a brand. It can be a logo, font style, design, slogan, and other features of marketing. Trademarks are issued to protect the business from having another competing business from using similar designs to trick customers into believing they are doing business with the original company.

Copyrights are used to protect works that have been authored by someone. This can include songs, books, screenplays, paintings, photographs, designs, and more. A copyright can apply to such works even if they have not been published. The person who owns the copyright is the only one who is legally allowed to reproduce or distribute that work.

The Patent and Trademark Office issues patents as a type of protection for inventions. It is known as a property right. For someone to acquire a patent, their invention needs to be something that is new, useful, and it should function differently or do things in a different manner from any existing devices. New patents are valid for a period of twenty years.

To learn more about trademarks, copyrights, and patents, we have put together the following information. We hope this helps you learn the difference between these key business functions.