What does it mean by the term Copyright, Trademark and Patent

Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by the most governments, granting the creator of an original work, exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time period. Copyright protection is available to both published and unpublished work.

Copyright was initially conceived as a way for governments to restrict printing. But now-a-days this concept helps promotes creation of new works by protecting authors, giving them control of content and the right to make profits from it. Works such as paintings, sculptures, books, paragraphs, software, audio and visual works, architectural designs, etc. are protected by copyright. Copyright can be made by either individuals or companies. Companies usually have a legal department with experts to deal with intellectual property such as the Copyright.

Exclusive rights

Exclusive rights mean that only the copyright holder is entitled to exercise the rights (listed below) and others are prohibited from using the work without permission. Following are some of the rights typically attached to the holder of the copyright: To produce copies or reproductions of the work and to sell those copies (including, typically, electronic copies).To import and export work. To create derivative works (works that adapt the original work).To perform or display the work publicly. To sell or assign these rights to others.

Copyright are said to be territorial, which means that they do not extend beyond the territory of a specific state unless that state is a party to an international agreement. For example rights for a content that is copyrighted in one country may or may not be applicable in another country. Today, however, this is less relevant since most counties are parties to at least one such agreement.

Generally validity of copyright is whole life of the creator plus fifty to a hundred years from the creator’s death, or a finite period for anonymous or corporate creations.

Things that cannot be copyrighted

Several categories cannot be copyrighted such as: Slogans, Short phrases, familiar or logos, lettering, coloring. Ideas procedures, methods systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices, as distinguished from a description, explanation, or illustration. Works consisting entirely of information that is common property and contain no original authorship (for example: standard calendars, height and weight charts, tape measures and rulers, and lists or tables taken from public documents or other common sources).

Content or information that is copyrighted usually identified through the symbol © ; information related to copyright or legal terms is usually made available in manuals, warranty cards, websites etc.

Use of copyright symbol does dot necessarily mean it’s copyrighted. For example you might notice lots of websites that have © symbol indicating that the content, website hosted are copyrighted. It reminds that visitors of the website to respect copyright.

Copyright registration is a legal formality intended to make a public record indicating the ownership and the rights of the owner. This can help owners file in case against infringements of their content. Copyright involves procedures as required by the law; refer to copyright bodies or seek help from copyright experts for proper procedure.

Using copyrighted content

You can use copyrighted materials if you obtain permission from the owner; in most cases, you may have to get a written conformation from the owner to avoid any legal issue.

Note: If a copyright notice is not available, it is recommended to contact the webmaster or owner to check if you require any special permission to use the material.

Also it is the right of the owner to grant or deny permission, to part or complete material. If the permission is granted, then the owner may charge a fee or provide the material free of cost; however, the decision is left with the owner.

In rare cases, if the copyright of the material is expired and confirmed, then the material may be used without permission.

Copyright infringement is the under authorized use of works under copyright, infringing the copyright holder’s “exclusive rights”, such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the copyrighted work, spread the information contained within copyrighted works, or to make derivative works.

If often refers coping “intellectual property” without written permission from the copyright holder, which is typically a publisher or other business representing or assigned by the works creator. Copyright infringement is often associated with the terms piracy and theft.

Examples of copyright infringement includes (not limited to):Downloading and using software without paying for it (if it is paid software), purchasing software and re-distributing it for free, etc. resulting in software piracy. Paying for single copy and using it on multiple computers (referred to as software piracy).Downloading paid MP3 (music or audio) or video from websites without paying any money. Downloading and/or distributing movies from the internet through direct downloads or torrents. Using copyrighted logos without permission. Downloading licensed software without paying for it. Downloading and/or distributing movies without permission.


A trademark is a recognizable sign, design or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others. The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity.

A trademark may be designated by the following symbols:(™) (the “trademark symbol”, which is the letters “TM” , for an unregistered trademark, a mark used to promote or brand goods).(SM) (which is the letters “SM”, in superscript, for an unregistered service mark, a mark used to promote or brand services). (®) (the letter “R”, surrounded by a circle, for a registered trademark)
Trademark can be registered if it is able to distinguish the goods or services of a party, will not confuse consumers about the relationship between one party and another, and will not otherwise deceive consumers with respect to the qualities.

Like copyright, Trademarks can be located on a package, a label, a voucher or on the product itself. A trademark is typically a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image or a combination of these elements. Example of a trademark includes the logo for Wikipedia website.


A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time, in exchange for the public disclosure of the invention.
The procedure for granting patents, requirements placed on the patentee, and the extent of the exclusive rights very widely across countries based on their national laws and international agreements.
Typically however a patent application must include one or more claims that define the invention. These claims must meet relevant patentability requirements, such as novelty and non-obviousness.
The exclusive right granted to a patentee in most countries is the right to prevent others from making, selling, using or distributing the patented invention without permission.
Patent is done through patent offices that are governmental or intergovernmental organization’s which controls the issue of patents.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.