Patent vs. Trademark: What's the Difference?
A Patent protects inventions; a Trademark identifies the source of goods/services.
A Patent refers to the exclusive right granted to an inventor to protect their invention from being made, sold, or used by others for a certain period of time. This means that for a designated time, the inventor has the sole right to benefit from their creation.
On the other hand, a Trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises. While Patents guard the functional aspects of products and processes, Trademarks protect brand names, logos, symbols, and other identifying features that represent goods or services in the marketplace.
Both Patents and Trademarks are essential components of intellectual property law, serving different purposes. While a Patent might cover a new technology or process, a Trademark covers anything that represents a particular brand.
In essence, while Patents protect the functional form of a product, Trademarks safeguard its distinctive identity.
Protection of inventions
Protection of brand identity
Typically 20 years
Can be renewed indefinitely
What it Protects
Brand names, logos, slogans
Not renewable (generally)
Must be renewed periodically
Patent and Trademark Definitions
A government license conferring a right for a set period.
She was granted a Patent for her new invention.
A symbol, word, or words representing a company or product.
The golden arches are a Trademark of McDonald's.
Exclusive rights to an inventor to produce or sell an invention.
He secured a Patent for his new software algorithm.
A brand officially registered and legally protected.
She successfully defended her Trademark against infringement.
Evident or obvious.
The reason for his anger was Patent to everyone in the room.
A distinguishing characteristic or feature.
His sense of humor was a Trademark that everyone recognized.
A document granting such rights.
She proudly displayed her Patent certificate on the wall.
A recognizable emblem or symbol.
The swoosh is the Trademark of Nike.
A grant made by a government that confers upon the creator of an invention the sole right to make, use, and sell that invention for a set period of time.
Legal protection for brand names and logos.
They registered their business name as a Trademark.
Abbr. TM A name, symbol, or other device used to identify and promote a product or service, especially an officially registered name or symbol that is thereby protected against use by others.
An invention protected by such a grant.
A distinctive characteristic by which a person or thing comes to be known
The snicker that became the comedian's trademark.
A grant of publicly owned land, particularly to a homesteader.
To label (a product) with proprietary identification.
The official document of such a grant.
To register (something) as a trademark.
The land so granted.
A word, symbol, or phrase used to identify a particular company's product and differentiate it from other companies' products.
An exclusive right or title.
Any proprietary business, product or service name.
Protected or conferred by a patent or letters patent
A patent right.
The aspect for which someone or something is best known; a hallmark or typical characteristic.
Of, relating to, or dealing in patents
(proscribed) To register something as a trademark.
(also pātnt) Obvious; plain
A patent injustice.
(proscribed) To so label a product.
Not blocked; open
A patent duct.
(informal) Distinctive, characteristic, signature.
Spreading open; expanded
A distinctive characteristic or attribute
Relating to or being a nonprescription drug or other medical preparation that is protected by a trademark.
A formally registered symbol identifying the manufacturer or distributor of a product
Of high quality. Used of flour.
To obtain a patent on or for (an invention, for example).
To invent, originate, or be the proprietor of (an idea, for example).
To grant a patent to or for.
An official document granting an appointment, privilege, or right, or some property or title; letters patent.
A specific grant of ownership of a piece of real property; a land patent.
(by extension) A product in respect of which a patent (sense 1.2.2) has been obtained.
A licence or (formal) permission to do something.
A characteristic or quality that one possesses; in particular (hyperbolic) as if exclusively; a monopoly.
(gambling) The combination of seven bets on three selections, offering a return even if only one bet comes in.
To (successfully) register (a new invention) with a government agency to obtain the sole privilege of its manufacture, sale, and use for a specified period.
To obtain (over a piece of real property) a specific grant of ownership.
To be closely associated or identified with (something); to monopolize.
Conspicuous; open; unconcealed.
(baking) Of flour: fine, and consisting mostly of the inner part of the endosperm of the grain from which it is milled.
(medicine) Open, unobstructed; specifically, especially of the ductus arteriosus or foramen ovale in the heart, having not closed as would have happened in normal development.
She has a patent ductus arteriosus that will require surgery to close.
Of an infection: in the phase when the organism causing it can be detected by clinical tests.
Explicit and obvious.
Those claims are patent nonsense.
Especially of a document conferring some privilege or right: open to public perusal or use.
Appointed or conferred by letters patent.
(botany) Of a branch, leaf, etc.: outspread; also, spreading at right angles to the axis.
(law) Protected by a legal patent.
A patent right
To which someone has, or seems to have, a claim or an exclusive claim; also, inventive or particularly suited for.
Open; expanded; evident; apparent; unconcealed; manifest; public; conspicuous.
He had received instructions, both patent and secret.
Open to public perusal; - said of a document conferring some right or privilege; as, letters patent. See Letters patent, under 3d Letter.
Appropriated or protected by letters patent; secured by official authority to the exclusive possession, control, and disposal of some person or party; patented; as, a patent right; patent medicines.
Madder . . . in King Charles the First's time, was made a patent commodity.
Spreading; forming a nearly right angle with the steam or branch; as, a patent leaf.
A letter patent, or letters patent; an official document, issued by a sovereign power, conferring a right or privilege on some person or party.
Four other gentlemen of quality remained mentioned in that patent.
The right or privilege conferred by such a document; hence, figuratively, a right, privilege, or license of the nature of a patent.
If you are so fond over her iniquity, give her patent to offend.
To grant by patent; to make the subject of a patent; to secure or protect by patent; as, to patent an invention; to patent public lands.
A document granting an inventor sole rights to an invention
An official document granting a right or privilege
Obtain a patent for;
Should I patent this invention?
Grant rights to; grant a patent for
Make open to sight or notice;
His behavior has patented an embarrassing fact about him
(of a bodily tube or passageway) open; affording free passage;
Patent ductus arteriosus
Clearly apparent or obvious to the mind or senses;
The effects of the drought are apparent to anyone who sees the parched fields
Made his meaning plain
It is plain that he is no reactionary
In plain view
A new method, apparatus, or process.
His Patent introduced a groundbreaking way to harvest solar energy.
What is a Patent?
A Patent is a government-granted right that gives inventors exclusive rights to their invention for a set period, usually 20 years.
How long does a Patent last?
Typically, a Patent lasts for 20 years from the filing date.
Can I Trademark my invention?
No, inventions are protected by Patents, while brand identifiers like names and logos are Trademarked.
Who registers Trademarks?
Trademarks are registered with the government's Trademark Office.
What is a Trademark?
A Trademark is a symbol, name, or phrase used to identify and protect a brand or product.
Can I Patent a brand name?
No, brand names are protected by Trademarks, not Patents.
Can I sell my Patent?
Yes, Patents can be sold, licensed, or transferred.
Is a Patent valid worldwide?
No, a Patent is territorial and is only valid in the country where it's granted.
Who grants Patents?
Patents are granted by the government's Patent Office.
Can I Patent a business method?
In some jurisdictions, business methods can be Patented if they meet all Patentability requirements.
How long does a Trademark last?
A Trademark can last indefinitely, as long as it's renewed periodically.
What happens if my Patent expires?
Once a Patent expires, the invention becomes public domain and can be used freely by anyone.
Can I Trademark a sound or color?
Yes, distinctive sounds or colors associated with a brand can be Trademarked in certain circumstances.
Is a Trademark valid globally?
No, a Trademark is territorial, but there are international agreements that facilitate global Trademark protection.
How do I know if my invention is Patentable?
An invention must be novel, non-obvious, and useful to be Patentable.
How do I know if my brand name is Trademarkable?
A name should be unique, non-generic, and not likely to be confused with existing Trademarks to be Trademarkable.
Can software be Patented?
Yes, in many jurisdictions, software can be Patented if it meets certain criteria.
What happens if I don't renew my Trademark?
If not renewed, a Trademark can lapse and others might use or register it.
Can I license my Trademark to another company?
Yes, you can license your Trademark to others while maintaining ownership.
Can a slogan be Trademarked?
Yes, slogans that identify and distinguish a brand can be Trademarked.
Written bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited byHuma Saeed
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