Patent, Trademark and Copyright

These three terms often create a dilemma regarding their true meaning. Here is the explanation to the correct meaning of these jargons.


Patents are basically rights that exclude the person other than the one registered, to produce, sell or even trade with the specific good or service, which is generally a new invention. It can be a new production technique, a new good or a scientific invention. A patent reserves the right of the owner for a period of some years, which requires annual charges to be paid to the concerned authority. Patent registration is preferred by inventors and companies, to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors. It also seems reasonable, as they would have spent a lot of resources and time in the research and development of the newly invented equipment or the innovative technique. Patent can also be defined as the complete monopoly to the inventor, if he discloses his invention to the government, which is surely profitable for the inventor. The law concerning patents in India is the Indian Patents Act, 1970.

For example: The dialysis machine was patented the time it was invented in 1946. It was publicly available for production and sale after 20 years of its original invention.



The way patents are used for reservation of production, usage and selling rights, trademarks are used for the reservation of sign, logo, design, name or expressions. Trademarks are registered for the protection against plagiarism of an organization's or individual's brand name, brand logo, tagline etc. A trademark is legally recognized as an intellectual property. The theft of logos and names have became very common, especially for the unregistered organizations. Thus trademarks helps in reserving their logo against duplication, in return of nominal fees by the designated authority. In India, the law concerning trademarks is The Trademark Act, 1999.

Example- Logos of companies like Infosys, Tata and IBM are their registered trademarks.



Copyrights are meant for the protection of original pieces of works, which can be musical, artistic, literary or any type of original work of art. It is to be noted that copyright is required to restrict copy of the original work, and not the idea behind the work, as in the case of patents. In patents, the use of both technique and produce is restricted to the registrant only, but copyright only restricts to copy the original content or produce. Copyrights also, like patents and trademarks are registered for a limited period of time, and can be extended upon renewal on the payment of certain fees of the authority. Copyrights play a major role in the digital era where anybody can copy one's works and declare that work as his own. In this fraudulent case, the original creator can file a copyright claim on the fraudster and charge him a good amount. The Copyright Act, 1957 governs copyrights in India.

For example- Music videos by T-Series on YouTube are their original, anyone who duplicates the same music video receives a copyright strike, leading to removal of his video.

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