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Difference between copyright and trademark

Intellectual property refers to human creations, in which a person uses his brain, work and capital. Copyright is patents are two rights that provide protection to intellectual property. These are the intangible assets that a company owns and has an economic value.

While the copyright protects creative and intellectual works, covering artistic, literary, musical and dramatic work. used to differentiate various classes of work. On the other hand, a patent protects new inventions from being used or produced by others such as solar panels, motors, batteries, etc. In this article, you can find the difference between copyright and patent.

Comparative chart

Basis for comparison Copyright – Patent
Sense Copyright means a form of protection conferred on the creator of the original work, which excludes others from performing, selling or using the work. Patent indicates the property rights provided to the inventor who excludes others from making, using or exchanging the invention for a certain period.
Topic Expression ideas
Government law Indian Copyright Act, 1957 Indian Patent Act, 2005
Covers Artistic and literary works inventions
registration Automatic, no formalities required. Registration required.
excludes Others to copy or exchange the product. Others from production or use of the product.
Term 60 years 20 years

Definition of Copyright

With the term copyright, we mean a limited and assignable right endowed with the origin of the artistic, musical, dramatic and literary work, as required by law, for a defined number of years. As the name suggests, it protects the rights of the creators of the original work, thus providing property, safeguarding and honoring creativity. Rights include:

  • To reproduce the work.
  • To communicate the creation to the general public.
  • To make a film about creation.
  • To make an adaptation of the work.
  • Issue business copies to the public.

Furthermore, copyright is acquired automatically, immediately after the creation of the work and therefore no registration as such is required. But, in the case of any legal dispute, on paternity, the registration certificate required to serve as evidence before the court.

The copyright granted for a period of 60 years, that is when the work related to music, literature, art, drama, etc., the period will be the life of the author plus 60 years. However, in the case of cinematographic films, recordings, publications, photographs and works of government and international organizations, the 60-year period will be counted from the date of publication.

Definition of patent

The patent defined as the exclusive right or authority conferred on the inventor for a new and non-obvious invention by the government for a specified period in exchange for a full declaration of the invention. The inventor has the right to prevent others from using, manufacturing, selling that invention, for a particular period. To obtain a patent, the invention should satisfy the following:

  • It must be new and original.
  • An inventive step must be there.
  • It must be capable of industrial application.

The patent is issued for twenty years, starting from the date of the application, for which the payment of a renewal fee is requested every year, to keep the patent valid for twenty years. In addition, if the tax is not paid within the deadline, the rights will be terminated.

Key differences between copyright and patent

The following points are significant regarding the difference between copyright and patent:

  1. A set of rights granted to the creator of the original work, which excludes others from making, selling or producing the work, known as Copyright. A legal concession granted by the government to the inventor which excludes others from making, using or exchanging the invention for a certain period, called a patent.
  2. While the idea, reduced to practice the subject of the patent, copyright focuses on expression.
  3. In India, the Indian Copyright Act of 1957 governs copyright rules and regulations. In contrast, patents are regulated by the Indian Patent Act, 2005.
  4. Copyright includes artistic and literary creation, while patents emphasize inventions.
  5. As soon as the original work is created, copyright arises, therefore automatic protection and no formalities are required. On the other hand, the patent requires registration, in which the application of the patent filed with the regional or national patent organization.
  6. Copyright excludes others from the creation, copy or sale of the original work. On the contrary, the patent prevents others from producing or using the product or technique.
  7. Copyright in general guaranteed for 60 years. Unlike a patent, which was granted to the author for 20 years.


Therefore, after detailed discussion of the two topics, you may have understood that both are the protection of intellectual property rights. Both are granted by the government but cover different aspects, ie the copyright takes into account the creative and original work of the authors, while a patent for new inventions or discovered techniques / methods.