Compare Trademark to Patent, Copyright, Service Mark and Trade Secret

Although there are some disadvantages for trademark owners, the benefits of trademark registration are very important for every company or organization and they should not be ignored. Any company that wants to protect its brand name and reputation should have trademark registered.

We can see almost all established companies like Google, Yahoo or Microsoft have already had ownership over their trademarks. Besides, startup businesses that have a unique idea of products also should consider getting a trademark soon to protect and make it recognizable. There have been many cases that a brand name was lost due to late trademark registration. For instance, RIM had to rename its new BBX OS to BlackBerry 10 a few weeks ago because it is identical to the mark being used by Basis, a software company in Singapore. As their products are highly related, the US court decided to not allowing RIM to use the name BBX.

Differences between Trademark and Patent, Copyright, Service Mark and Trade Secret


Apart from trademark, there are some more intellectual property rights including copyright, patent, service mark and trade secret. Copyright is the exclusive right to protect literary, artistic and intellectual works. Invention is the right to protect new invention or discovery of useful devices and processes. Service mark is similar to trademark, the only difference is that it is the distinctive mark of a service instead of a product. Trade secret is the business information that is valuable to a company and it is kept unknown to the public. For example, when Apple produced the iPad tablet, they registered for the brand name iPad, all technology patents included in the tablet and get their commercials copyrighted. Besides, Apple always keep the release dates and features of their new products confidentially until it is launched on the market.

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