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Difference Between a Copyright, Trademark & Registration/Registered Trademark

Original ideas are always prone to get stolen and to protect these intellectual properties and innovative ideas; Copyright, Registration and Trademarks are being used. These are the legal procedure which is meant to serve the same purpose but the process is different and also the usage. In any form of business, whether it is a small or medium or large entity, the above mentioned three legal weapons are always in use.

There is a fine line of difference between these three which is discussed below:


For safeguarding the originality of the literary works like a piece of literature, music, drama, artistic work and other intellectual properties, Copyright is being used. The copyright is attached to any of the original work once it is created and the symbols of the same can vary from © to the abbreviated form “Corp” to the entire word “copyright”.

It is the legal right to the owner that he or she can do whatever they want with their creation. They can take it a step further by recreating or reproducing it or they can even distribute the copies of the creation, they can derive other creation from that and can display than in front of the audience and public.

The right is both for the published and also for the unpublished creations. In India, the period for which a copyright exist is the lifetime of the author plus sixty more years after the death of the author in case of literary works. In the case of other miscellaneous work, the term is 60 years from the next calendar year of the publishing of the work. More or less, the term of the copyright retention is 60 years either from the same year or the next calendar year in the case of any creative work.

You need to register with the Copyright office for the procedure of availing the copyright. One thing to keep in mind that copyright is not for protecting the titles, slogans, names, symbols, phrases, ideas, designs, procedures, concepts, discoveries and methods as these are not an individual’s property.


To protect the name, words, devices, symbols etc. from being copied or used by the competitors intentionally or unintentionally, Trademark is used. It is more of securing your brand identity in the form of Logo or Name with the help of TM Registration. It helps the manufacturers & service providers to differentiate their goods & services from others.

When a manufacturer comes up with a name for their product/brand, it is secured by the TM symbol, if the manufacturer registers the product with the trademark office. It is the trademark symbol that makes it clear that the name or the product solely belong to the respective company and is their property.

If a competitor comes up with the similar product, with a similar name, it will be a tough job for the first company to prove that they have chosen the name first & more likely will lose the brand identity to the competitor in case company fails to get their brands registered.


Registration is often called as Registered Trademark and the reason behind this is the last line of the previous paragraph. A trademark needs to be registered to avail all the benefits of it. The registration symbol is ® and if one product or company have this symbol with their name, then no other company can use their product’s name or other details. It is a mark of legal registration of the product and the company.

In future, if any company comes up with similar ideas, they need to check whether any such name is already available or not and only then they can register. If any other company uses similar kind of name or images, then that company will be guilty in legal terms for infringement of the trademark use.

Anyone interested in registering the trademark needs to contact the registrar department for the process. Before registering, one needs to check whether the name or other identification symbols are in use or not and if found as unique, then that can be filed for registration.

The registration process is really long in India; it takes almost eight years to get the registration of the trademarks.

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