Some can confuse copyrights and trademarks, and although they are both types of intellectual property protection, each serves its own unique purpose.
COPYRIGHTS PROTECT ORIGINAL WORKS OF AUTHORSHIP
Copyrights and trademarks are both intellectual property assets which grant exclusive rights to their respective owners, but the similarities end there. Unlike trademark law, U.S. copyright law codified in the 1976 Copyright Act protects original works of authorship, that is, creative expressions that have been reduced to a tangible form. Copyright protection extends to literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, pictorial and graphic works, motion pictures and other audiovisual works, sound recordings, screenplays, musical compositions, and computer software. Whereas for trademark protection, the mark needs to be “used in commerce”, copyright protection has no such requirement. However a work does have to be “original” to be protected by copyright, but originality is not a requirement for trademark protection so long as a mark is not likely to confuse consumers.
Copyright protection grants its owner exclusive rights to reproduce, redistribute, publicly perform, display, or prepare derivative works based upon, a protected work. These so called “bundle of rights” can then be licensed or sold to publishers across various platforms, territory and times.
Now that we’ve defined the difference between copyright and trademark, stay tuned next week for the final installment of the blog series about which intellectual property protection is right for you.
Author: David N. Sharifi, Esq. is a Los Angeles based intellectual property attorney and technology startup consultant with focuses in entertainment law, emerging technologies, trademark protection, and “the internet of things”. David was recognized as one of the Top 30 Most Influential Attorneys in Digital Media and E-Commerce Law by the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2014. Office: Ph: 310-751-0181; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: The content above is a discussion of legal issues and general information; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be used as such without seeking professional legal counsel. Reading the content above does not create an attorney-client relationship. All trademarks are the property of L.A. Tech & Media Law Firm or their respective owners. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.