What are the Differences Between a Patent and a Trademark?


What are the Differences Between a Patent and a Trademark?

Numerous people around the world come up with all kinds of intellectual properties to present to the greater population. When an individual wishes to bring this to fruition, it is crucial that they protect it and ensure that it is only theirs to use. In doing so, the individual should understand the options available to them to protect what is theirs. There are different ways to do this, including obtaining a patent or trademark protection. Knowing the difference between the two is important, therefore having an experienced attorney can be beneficial during this process.

What is a Patent?

A patent is a property right that is granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). It is a contract between the individual and the government that allows them rights to this property for 20 years. This right allows individuals to protect their invention of a new process. It ensures that other people cannot make or sell this invention. During the time period allotted, no one else is able to make, use, or sell the invention without the permission of the person who patented it.

There are three types of patents available to individuals in the United States. This consists of:

  • Utility Patents: Protects an invention, product, or method
  • Design Patents: Protects a decoration or an aesthetic value
  • Plant Patents: Protects a newly discovered plant

What is a Trademark?

A trademark is available to individuals who wish to protect their own creation of words, phrases, symbols, logos, or other devices that are used to identify a source of goods or services. It can give the owner of the trademark ability to use specific images and phrases. Trademark protection prevents other people from using a mark that is similar to theirs, ensuring that consumers cannot be confused about a product, good, or service that they are looking to buy.

One can obtain a trademark by filing the necessary paperwork with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as well. During the process, the trademark will be examined, possibly adjusted, and published for opposition before it is officially approved. There are two established registers for trademarks to be listed under in order to allow businesses to protect their intellectual property. This includes:

  • Principal Register: For trademarks that take on a second meaning overtime.
  • Supplemental Register: This requires a trademark to distinguish the individual’s goods or services from another’s.

Contact our Firm

If you wish to obtain protection for an intellectual property, contact The Law Offices of Richard E. Novak, LLC. today.

The Law Offices of Richard E. Novak, LLC has over 25 years of experience helping clients through tough times when they need it most. If you need assistance with any intellectual property, traffic violations, or business law matters, our firm is here to help. It is critical that you pick the right attorney who can protect your rights. Contact The Law Offices of Richard E. Novak, LLC for a consultation.