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Understanding the Differences Between Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents

Rokita Law

As a business owner, you have valuable assets that help distinguish your brand from the competition. Intellectual property refers to assets that can take many forms, including trademarks, copyrights, and patents. Each type of intellectual property offers different types of legal protections. Lets explore the differences between trademarks, copyrights, and patents, and how a business lawyer or intellectual property lawyer can help protect your interests.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark is a symbol, word, or phrase used to identify and tell apart goods or services from those of others in the marketplace. Companies use trademarks, which can be logos, slogans, or even color schemes, to create brand recognition. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) registers trademarks.

Trademark registration provides legal protection against the use of similar marks by others in the same or related industries. This protection extends to the use of the mark in advertising, marketing, and commerce. A trademark lawyer can help ensure proper registration and provide advice regarding your application.

A copyright is a legal protection for creative works, such as music, literature, art, or software. Copyrights protect the expression of an idea, not the idea itself. This means that a copyright gives the owner the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and display the work in question. The United States Copyright Office registers copyrights, and they remain valid for the life of the author plus 70 years.

Copyright infringement occurs when someone else uses your work without permission or compensation. If someone uses your work without permission, a copyright lawyer can help you enforce your rights and register your copyright.

What is a Patent?

A patent is a legal protection for inventions, processes, and designs. A patent gives the owner the exclusive right to create, use, and sell the invention for a period of 20 years from the date of filing. The creator must make known the details of the invention in a patent application that becomes public, in exchange for the exclusive right.

Patent protection is important for businesses that rely on innovation and technology to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

Differences between Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents

Although trademarks, copyrights, and patents are all forms of intellectual property protection, they vary in terms of what they protect and the method of obtaining them. Trademarks protect brand names and logos, copyrights protect creative works, and patents protect inventions, processes, and designs.

When to Consult an Intellectual Property Lawyer | Trademark Copyrights and Patents

Intellectual property is an important asset for businesses, and protecting it is crucial for success. Each type of intellectual property provides legal protection and allows businesses to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. If you need assistance with protecting your intellectual property, a business lawyer or intellectual property lawyer can help guide you through the registration process and provide guidance on how to enforce your rights in case of infringement.


When it comes to running your business, there are plenty of things to consider, and it can be difficult to keep track of all the legalities required to operate efficiently. Enlisting the services of an experienced intellectual property lawyer can ensure that any legal issues that arise in your business are sufficiently addressed and resolved. With Rokita Law, you can breathe a little easier knowing you have a business lawyer on your side who offers solutions to many legal needs with experience, passion, and integrity. Located in Los Angeles, California, we practice in many areas, like civil litigation, business law, real estate law, and intellectual property, to give you well-rounded support with trusted, professional lawyers. Schedule a consultation today to find out how we can help, and watch your business thrive.

Attorney Advertising Material. The content of this post is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as, nor is it intended to be legal advice.⁠ Advertising by Rokita Law, P.C. 11340 W. Olympic Bl. Suite 266 Los Angeles, CA 90064. Results may vary. This is not a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your case. Posts are for educational purposes only and are based on California law only, except for trademarks and copyrights filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).⁠

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