What’s the difference between a trademark, a copyright and a patent?

Trademark Drafting

Trademarks and service marks are brand names, logos and slogans which identify the source of goods and services. The mark might be a word, like Nike. It might be a symbol, like the Nike swoosh or it might be a slogan like “Just do it.” Trademarks and service marks are signals to consumers about the company behind a product or service. The marks may be equated with a certain level of quality or bring a level of familiarity to consumers in a crowded marketplace. Trademarks protect brand names, logos and slogans from being used by others.

Copyrights protect artistic works such as artwork, books, music, and videos. If something is (1) the result of creative expression and (2) is not too simplistic (e.g. is more than a geometric shape, a short phrase, a single tone, or a compilation of facts), it is entitled to copyright protection. Copyright protection protects artistic works from being copied or distributed by others.

Patents protect inventions. To obtain a patent, an invention must be new and not obvious. Patents prevent others from making, using or selling an invention.