Clarifying the differences between copyrights, patents and trademarks.
A Copyright is a form of protection provided to the authors of “original works of authorship” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works, both published and unpublished. The 1976 Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies or phono records of the copyrighted work, to perform the copyrighted work publicly, or to display the copyrighted work publicly.
The copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject matter of the writing. For example, a description of a machine could be copyrighted, but this would only prevent others from copying the description; it would not prevent others from writing a description of their own or from making and using the machine. Copyrights are registered by the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office.
Difference between Copyright, Patent & Trademark.
A Copyright is a form of protection provided to authors of “original works of authorship”, both published and unpublished. Copyright protects the form of expression rather than the subject of the expression.
Federal copyright registrations are issued by the U.S. Copyright Office. They give the copyright owner exclusive rights to reproduce the copyrighted work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies of the work, and to perform and display the work publicly.
A Trademark is a word, name, symbol or device which indicates the source of a product and distinguishes it from the products of others. A servicemark identifies and distinguishes the source of a service instead of a product.
Trademarks are issued by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. They prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark, but cannot prevent others from making the same products or from selling the same products under a clearly different mark.
A Patent is the grant of a property right to an inventor. What is granted is the right to exclude others from using, offering for sale, selling or importing the invention.
Patents are issued by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
Intellectual Property Resources
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