Difference Between Patents and Trademarks
Both patents and trademarks protect your company’s intellectual property, but they apply to different types of ideas. A patent protects your inventions and ideas. You may have devised a product or a process that you want to keep for yourself because you have taken the time and invested the effort to devise it. The goal of a patent is to promote and protect innovation. You would hold the exclusive right to use your patent, or you can license it to someone else in exchange for royalties.
The patent process can be difficult and time-consuming, but you need to obtain a patent in order to get the full protection. In order for something to be patentable, it must be a new and useful invention that is not obvious to others. Patents are only good for 20 years. Once patent protection expires, others may use the idea for themselves.
Trademarks protect phrases and symbols that can identify the source of a product. Your company name or slogan can be trademarked. For example, an advertising campaign for a soda product can be trademarked because it is how people identify the product. You do not always have to register a trademark like you would a patent, but it often suits your business to invest in obtaining a trademark. In order for something to be trademarked, it must be distinctive. Unlike patents, trademarks do not have a limited shelf life. They last for as long as the trademark is used in commerce. Others cannot use the mark or anything that would confuse others about the source of goods.
Contact an Orlando Patent Attorney
Daniel Law Offices, P.A., can help you register and obtain protection for your intellectual property, no matter whether you need a patent or a trademark. To speak with an Orlando patent lawyer, message us online or call the office directly.