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What are the Basic Differences Between a Trademark and Copyright? The distinction between a copyright and a trademark is often confusing to businesses, artists and musicians. In order to have a clear understanding of the two words, it is best to explain and define them. If you use a word, name, symbol or device in your business to connect the source of the goods or services to your business, and therefore would distinguish you from the other products or services, then a trademark or service mark is applicable for you apply. With trademarks, you are preventing your competitors to use similar marks that will create confusion among your consumers with the source, affiliation, sponsorship and endorsement of the product or service.
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Trademarks or service marks does not necessarily need a federal registration in interstate commerce, but you may also register with the Patent and Trademark Office or PTO to have a sense of originality and claim to your marks. Note that trademark rights in the United States came up from the actual use in the industry or commerce, and you cannot make a reservation unless these marks will be used in the coming future for commerce.
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As mentioned, trademarks do not need to have a federal registration in order to protect you, however, a federal registration of a trademark could prove some benefits of an investment if you will use your marks for many or significant projects. Authors of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and other certain works that are both published and not published, can have protection of their intellectual property or works by applying a copyright. If your work is copyrighted, it means you are given the exclusive rights by the US Copyright Act, to reproduce your copyrighted work, to create another work derive from the original copyrighted work, to distribute replicas or copies of the copyrighted work, to perform the copyrighted work publicly, and to show the copyrighted work also publicly. The various works that are covered by copyrights are as follows, 2 or 3 dimensional works of arts, forms of images like pictures, photographs, graphic designs and drawings, recordings of all kinds like music, songs and sounds, written works like books, manuscripts and publications, and performance arts like plays, movies and shows. Further, a trademark considers the elements of any term, design, number or combination applied to goods or services that would enable a consumer to identify the source of the mark. On the other side, there is protection of an original work through the copyright, once the original work has been expressed in a fixed medium like books, painting and a music disc. And know that copyrights only protect the permanent expression but not the idea underlying an expression.