Difference Between Copyright and Trademark

About the Difference Between Copyright and Trademark

In this competitive world, every brand is working hard to create original and quality products for business. So it’s very important to know ways to protect your brand’s material and your intellectual property. Therefore it’s essential for brands, businesses, and startups to know about the difference between copyright and trademark.

Understanding trademarks and copyright is very important in order to secure your brand, its creative products, and your original work. When it comes to your business intellectual property and brand identity are essential.

One can easily save a business from fraud with the help of copyrights and trademarks. It also helps in taking legal action against those who are using the property of the brand without permission. In this guide, we will dive deeper and know the difference between copyrights and trademarks, which one is best for your brand, and how to protect the intellectual property of your business.

As both are forms of intellectual property protection, the main difference between trademarks and copyright is that they protect different types of assets. Trademarks protect other business-related assets, while Copyright protects the original work of creators. The registration requirement for trademarks and copyright also varies. 

Read More: What is the Trademark law in India?


A trademark is a legally registered mark that acts as a representation power for the enterprise, it helps in protecting intellectual property, representing and differentiating goods and services from one enterprise to another. Trademarks have different forms like logos, designs, words, patterns, phrases, and much more these forms help in recognizing the products and services of a brand.

  • Trademark differentiates products and services of one brand from another with the help of different logos, symbols, patterns, or designs. 
  • A trademark provides protection for different types of Brand or Business names, Logos, Slogans, and much more.
  • A trademark is applicable for anything related to business or business activities. 
  • A trademark has a hold on both the trademark and service mark. But a service mark only represents services and helps in understanding the differences between different business services.

For example, the trademark of Mcdonald’s is “McDonald’s M” but its service mark is “golden arches” defining its services.

  • A trademark is such a mark that remains linked with a brand or business forever, it does not expire. Trademark depends on actual use, meaning one can use it as long as it’s used. 
  • The registration procedure for a trademark is different as the government approves it only after more or greater extensive registration.

Copyright is another form of intellectual property, this legal tool grants rights to someone who creates an original work in the form of literature, music, movie, screenplays, painting or sculptures, software, books, and much more. Copyright does not require extensive registration.

  • Copyright grants legal rights to different types of work creators and protects their work creation. 
  • Copyright provides protection to different types of works like literary, music, drama, and other artistic works.

Poetry, books, painting, novels, research, software, Architecture, and other forms come under copyright protection. 

  • Copyright is applicable to anything related to the original work creation field. But there are few cases where copyright can not protect original works like in case of a speech that is not written down, or a song that is not recorded. 
  • Few more exceptions where copyright does not play any role nor can those works be copyrighted, like in the case of ideas, ideas can’t be copyrighted. The same goes for discoveries and principles. Other such work forms are common property, like calendars and many other charts.

Other Differences 

  • Using a trademark on goods and services helps to restrain others from using the brand’s property and helps in maintaining the reputation of the brand.

Read More: How to Protect Your Business with Trademark?

Copyright’s purpose is to provide access to use and distribute the original work. 

  • Trademark helps in establishing trust amount customers, and helps in brand establishment in the market. It helps in brand recognition and preserves brand originality. 

Copyright provides access to the creators of the work, in case the creators want to sell their copyrighted work. Copyright only grants rights to the work creators to sell work offline or online.

  • Trademark restrains the means of retaining products and services, it also restricts the products and services of a brand.

But in comparison to this for financial gain the copyrighted works are used by its creators.

  • Trademark creates a sense of recognition in the eyes of the customers. With the help of a trademark, customers can get the real brand item and are aware of the brand’s quality or value. Customers can easily choose the right product for themselves because of this trademark recognition power. 

Copyright helps in the recognition of the original aspects. 

  • Trademark term agreements can be renewed after every ten years in order to protect the brand’s property. Trademark term agreement is valid for only ten years, an entrepreneur can renew this agreement and can safely operate its business.

For copyright, there is no term agreement as it remains forever and is valid for a lifetime. For a copyrighted work, the time period varies on the basis of region or country. 

  • After registration, the trademark products contain symbol ®. The ® sign on the products gives an impression of registered goods. This sign acts as a protective shell for the trademarked products.

Copyrighted works use the symbol © in order to protect their original works. It’s not necessary to require registration for copyrighted works but registration preserves the work and further proves the originality of the work as well as of the creators.

  • The registration process of the trademark is different from that of copyright. Copyright does not require extensive registration while trademark requires.


Trademarks and copyright are both tools in the hands of entrepreneurs and creators to keep their originality and reputation safe and secure. Both these tools are rights that give recognition power to brands and the work creators. Both these tags are important for customers and very helpful in running a business and keeping work secure. Both trademarks and copyright provide protection for different types of assets.


What is the main difference between trademark and copyright?

The main difference between trademark and copyright is that they protect different types of assets. 

What do sign ® and © represent?

Does copyright need registration?

How is the registration procedure of a trademark different from that of a copyright?

Why is it important to understand trademark and copyright?

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