Intellectual Property: Difference Between Patent, Trademark, Copyright

According to WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), Intellectual Property refers to the creation and labor of the mind, including its fruition. It could be inventions, artistic and literary works, symbols, names, images and designs used in commerce. So, when someone came up with an epic or novel artistic creations, it can be protected in various ways and in many levels. This can be Patents, Trademarks or Copyright. But what are they exactly and how are they any different?

If ever someone came up with an idea or work the merits Intellectual Property protection, it has to be determined what kind of protection it should underwent. Patents are usually used for product development. But what if it’s a written piece of art, or a painting, a digital art and the likes?

Well, know the brief difference.


A patent is usually used as infringement protections for inventions and its subsequent developments. Note however, that patent has a very broad area of patenting applications. But remember that patents duly apply to inventions or creations with novel and exceptional functions.

Say for example, electronic circuit board with novel and cutting-edge functionality that is not only of top quality but less expensive. This is known as Utility Patent. Or a mobile phone with especial identifiable design only related to its brand. This is known as Design Patent.

Source: Freepik


Trademark simply is for any work or visual symbol of a product or services. By namesake, trademark used to protect business names and identifiable symbols, such as logos. One particular example of trademark is a car manufacturers name or brand. Corollary to that, is the car manufacturers logo. In a note, trademark is usually used in commerce and businesses.


A copyright protection is usually given to artistic expression. The expression could be written, literary as in musical, dramatic, performed and any other artistic concepts. One concrete example is a literary work of a writer or a novel painting by someone or a national artist. So, copyright is a protection on the side of arts and literature.

Patent, Trademark and Copyright are duly instituted for the protection of any Intellectual prowess. To be clear-cut, patent is for inventions of mechanical devices together with its unique functions, appearances and benefits. Trademarks are for symbols and images related to companies and other business entities especially those with direct implication to their business functions. Copyright, though did not deem much difference with trademark, is elaborately dedicated to works of visual arts and not necessary use in business. It could just be personal artwork or any visual property showcases.




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