December 6, 2023


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Understanding Trademark and Copyright Law Businesses, artists and musicians find it difficult to distinguish the difference between a copyright and a trademark. In order to have a clear understanding of the two words, it is best to explain and define them. A trademark or service mark is defined as a name, word, symbol or device that is used in a business about a product or service to indicate the origin of the product or service, and thus distinguishing them from the product or service of other business. With trademarks, you are preventing your competitors to use similar marks that will create confusion among your consumers with the source, affiliation, sponsorship and endorsement of the product or service.
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Trademarks or service marks does not necessarily need a federal registration in interstate commerce, but you may also register with the Patent and Trademark Office or PTO to have a sense of originality and claim to your marks. In the United States for example, trademark rights is given if used actually in commerce or business and cannot be reserved unless the marks are certain to be used in the near future.
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Although trademarks do not need federal registration for you to be protected of your products or service, but it could be worthwhile of an investment if you are going to use your marks for some significant projects for some time. A copyright is a kind of intellectual property protection for authors or owners of works that are original to them in the areas of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and other works that could be either published or unpublished. If your work is copyrighted, it means you are given the exclusive rights by the US Copyright Act, to reproduce your copyrighted work, to create another work derive from the original copyrighted work, to distribute replicas or copies of the copyrighted work, to perform the copyrighted work publicly, and to show the copyrighted work also publicly. The various works that are covered by copyrights are as follows, 2 or 3 dimensional works of arts, forms of images like pictures, photographs, graphic designs and drawings, recordings of all kinds like music, songs and sounds, written works like books, manuscripts and publications, and performance arts like plays, movies and shows. Further, a trademark considers the elements of any term, design, number or combination applied to goods or services that would enable a consumer to identify the source of the mark. On the other side, there is protection of an original work through the copyright, once the original work has been expressed in a fixed medium like books, painting and a music disc. Be further informed that copyrights can only protect the permanent expression of an original idea but not the idea behind the expression.

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