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    Trademark vs Patent vs Copyright

    Trademark, Patent, and Copyright are three types of intellectual property rights that provide the creator an absolute right over the use of his/her achievement of mind for a restricted amount of time. Entities and Individuals that are pursuing to register in the intellectual property must know the distinction between the three and acquire the right registrations to safeguard his/her intellectual property.

     What is Patent?

    Patent is an absolute right for an invention provided by the law for a limited time to the Patentee. By patenting an invention, the patentee is able to control the making, using, selling or importing of the patented product or process for producing that product without his/her consent. An invention relating either to a product or process that is latest, involving inventive step and capable of industrial application can be patented in India.

    What is Copyright?

    Copyright is a right given by the legislation to originator of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. It is not secure brands or names, short word combinations, slogans, short phrases, methods, plots or factual information. Copyright does not safeguard ideas or concepts. It is used to shield the originality of writers, artists, designers, dramatists, musicians, architects and manufacturer of sound recordings, cinematograph films and computer software.

    What is Trademark?

    Trademark is a visual symbol and it may describe in  word signature, name, device, label, figure or composition of colours used by one Enterprise on goods or services or other articles of commerce to differentiate it from other similar goods or services developing from a different undertaking. Consequently, trademarks are mostly used to protect brand names, business names, slogans and more.

    Difference between Patent, Copyright and Trademark

    Trademark, Patent and Copyright fulfil different and distinct uses. The sustainability of their life and essential for application also vary as follows:

    I. Main Use

    A. Patent

    Patents are mainly used to protect invention affects either to a product or process that is new which is capable of having industrial application. Software and business proposal cannot be patented in India. Know more about software patent in India.

    The following are items NOT patentable in India as per Section 3 of the Patent Act, 1970:

    1. An innovation which is flippant  or which claims anything obviously contrary to well established natural laws;
    2. An invention the primary or intended use or commercial exploitation of which could be contrary to public order or morality or which causes serious prejudice to human, animal or plant life or health or to the environment;
    3. The basic discovery of a scientific principle or the formulation of a conceptual theory or discovery of any living thing or non-living substance occurring in nature;
    4. The basic discovery of a new form of a known substance which does not result in the amplification of the known effectiveness of that substance or the mere finding of new property or new use for a known substance or of the basic use of a known process, machine or apparatus unless such known process results in a new product or employs at least one new reactant.
    5. A substance acquired by a mere admixture resulting only in the aggregation of the properties of the element thereof or a process for producing such substance;
    6. The mere arrangement or re-arrangement or duplication of known devices each functioning independently of one another in a known way;
    7. A method of horticulture or agriculture
    8. The Process for the medicinal, surgical, curative, prophylactic diagnostic, therapeutic or other treatment of human beings or any process for a similar treatment of animals to give them free of disease or to increase their economic value or that of their commodity.
    9. Animals and Plants  in whole or any part thereof other than micro­ organisms but including seeds, varieties, and species and essentially biological processes for production or propagation of plants and animals;
    10. Mathematical or business method or a computer programme  or algorithms;
    11. Literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or other aesthetic creation whatever including cinematographic works and television productions;
    12. A mere scheme or rule or method of performing mental act or method of playing the game;
    13. The presentation of information;
    14.  The Topography of integrated circuits;
    15. An innovation which influences a conventional knowledge or which is an aggregation or duplication of known properties of a traditionally known component or components.

    B. Copyright

    Copyright is mainly used to prevent literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works including cinematograph films and sound recordings. A software or programme or tables and databases can be registered as a ‘literary work’ under the Copyright Act. However to prevail a copyright for the software, the source code for the software must be presented to the Copyright Office along with the application.

    C. Trademark

    Trademark is substantially used by individuals, commercial and non-commercial institution to secure brand names, slogans, etc. An idea, proposal, concept or software cannot be trademarked. However, a special name given to a software or idea, recommendation or concept can be trademarked.

    II. Registrar

    The analysis and integration of patent and trademark applications are managed by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The analysis and integration of Copyright applications is controlled by the Copyright Office, Department of Higher Education,  Ministry  of Human Resource Development.

    III. Validity

    Patent: Patent registrations have a validity of 20 years from the date of filing of the patent application, irrespective of whether it is filed with provisional or complete specification. However, in case of international patent applications filed under PCT, the validity of the patent is for a term of 20 years beginning from the date of international filing.

    Copyright: As per law the copyright continues for 60 years. In the case of genuine literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works the 60-year period is counted from the year following the death of the author.  Cinematograph films sound recordings, posthumous publications, pseudonymous publications and anonymous, etc. Creation of government and works of international organizations, the 60-year period is counted from the date of publication.

    Trademark: Trademark registrations are justifiable for a period of 10 years from the date of application. A registered trademark’s reliability can be extended at the end of 10 years by filing a trademark renewal application.


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