Difference Between Patent and Trademark

Difference Between Patent and Trademark

When we talk about intellectual property rights, both patents and trademarks are the forms of these rights. Most people are not aware of the differences between a patent and a trademark, so if you are one such person, this guide will help you in understanding the differences between a patent and a trademark.

Read More: How to Protect Your Business with Trademark?

Patent

A patent is a legal document providing exclusive rights to invention holders, or we can sum up patents as exclusive intellectual property rights granted to an invention that offers new ways of dealing with something. A patent is very important in excluding others from using or selling the process of the invention. This intellectual property right is granted by the government to the patentee for a limited period of time. There are some exceptions where the patent limit can be extended.

Every year companies get hundreds of new patents issued as it provides commercial rights, moreover it protects companies from the race of competition. For companies, patents act as a great asset and provide protection rights for their inventions. Inventors need to keep a key element in consideration before filing patent applications, which is whether the invention idea will be a success or not.

As per a report at USPTO, more than 600,000 applications are filed every year for patents. Many such different types of patent applications are filed worldwide such as utility, design, and plant patents. Patent applications are either approved or rejected, about 48% of patent applications are rejected, and the remaining 52% of patent applications are approved. Every year more and more patent applications are filed and as per 2021 reports above 3 lakh patents were granted by USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office).

Read More: How to Register a Patent for Start-up?

Trademark

Trademark plays an important role in the Trade of goods and services. During the trade process, the enterprises use different trademark signs or symbols in order to protect their goods and services throughout the trade journey. It’s a legal mark that comes under the Trade Mark Act 1999, and grants protection from the illegal usage of goods or services. 

Every year companies use a trademark in order to protect their business and their brand name from illegal usage. This mark prevents the usage of similar marks or signs of a business. A trademark is a small satisfying symbol, it’s not descriptive in nature. 

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Trademark Vs Patent 

  • Trademark is used for the safety of products and services by enterprises, it helps to differentiate products from their kind in the market. While a patent gives rights to the inventor to use the process in new ways of dealing with something and provide new solutions.
  • Trademark grantees both the reputation and protection of the company and its products. Whereas in a patent the protection is granted to the inventor’s ideas or invention. 
  • Trademark helps in the differentiation of the products. It distinguishes products and services from others in the market. Whereas a patent is difficult to notice, it’s not obvious.
  • Trademark does not allow others to use the same mark, it prevents companies from the usage of similar marks. A patent gives the right to the owner to prevent others from using and selling the process or invention.
  • Registering a trademark is up to the entrepreneur, so it’s optional either to register the trademark or to use a non-registered trademark. But the registration of a patent is mandatory, so in the case of a patent, it’s important to register it.
  • Registration of a trademark is valid for 10 years and can be renewed after every 10 years through the process of filing a renewal application. So if its validity expires it can be extended for another 10 years. Registration of patents is valid for only 20 years, there are very few exceptional cases depending upon region or country when the limit of patent can be extended.

Read More: How to Protect Your Business with Trademark?

Different Benefits 

Patent 

  • The benefit of patents is that they are competitive in nature.
  • It benefits inventors by excluding everyone from using or selling the process or invention. So it’s in the hands of the inventor whether to give permission to use the invention or not.
  • With the help of patents, a company can raise its business capital. 
  • It’s up to an inventor whether to earn more money by selling or renting their invention or just keeping it under its provision. 
  • With the help of a patent, one can own an invention for a period of 20 years.

Read More: How to Register Trademark in India?

Trademark

  • The benefit of a trademark is that it gives identity to the goods and services and to its owner. 
  • It helps customers to distinguish the goods and services of one company from that of another.
  • It helps both customers as well as businesses to choose an original product and protects businesses in case of copying or fraud. 
  • A trademark is a legal relief in case of fraud, duplication, or misuse of products and services. 
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Registration Differences

Patent 

  • Patent protection is more powerful than other property protection. It is registered to safeguard the new ideas of the invention. Its registration helps in providing the potential to the business. Its registration is compulsory so it is important to register the innovation. 

Trademark

  • Trademark registration helps in the prohibition of illegal and unfair practices in the market like copying, duplication, and fraud. Its registration helps customers in selecting a real brand without getting fooled by duplicate products. The registration of the trademark is optional meaning it’s up to the decision of the businessman whether to register the trademark or not.

Different Application Types

Patent

  • A provisional type Patent is filed when the invention is still under process or in the development phase and the inventor needs to improve it. The inventor will be given 1 year to improve and enhance their invention. After 12 months the inventor can convert the provisional patent into a complete application.
  • A complete type patent is a full-fledged invention, an invention that is complete and ready for a patent. At this time the inventor can directly apply for a complete application. 

Trademark

  • Ordinary type trademark is filed for those goods and services that come under a single class.
  • Multi-class type trademark is filed for those goods and services that come under multi-class or we can say for more than one class.
  • Convention or Priority type trademark is filed for the claim of priority from a convention country. 
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Conclusion 

The main difference between trademarks and patents is where they focus and what they intend to protect. Both are legal rights and aim to protect and uplift business standards in the market. A brand is protected by a trademark and the patents protect the ideas or the invention for the brand.

FAQ’s

What does a patent offer?

A patent offers new ways of solving problems or provides new technical solutions.

What is the validity of a patent?

What are the different types of trademark applications?

Why is a patent important?

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