Copyright vs Trademark vs Service Mark

If you want to have exclusive rights on your work or creation and avoid copyright infringement or plagiarism to happen, it is very significant that you understand the difference of copyright, trademark or service mark.

This is important because some people are confused on these kinds of intellectual property protection.

What Is Copyright?

Copyright is a form or intellectual property protection that is specifically intended to the creators or authors of original works such as artistic, musical, literary, novels and other writings published or unpublished. The Copyright Act of 1976 provides the author to have the special right to reproduce his or her work, to share out copies as well as to allow others to use his or her work. The copyright primarily protects the owner for his or her work not to be copied by others illegally. Meaning, copying a certain excerpts from a book or novel without asking for the permission or acknowledging the author or writer is illegal act and can be charged of plagiarism.

What is Trademark?

When it comes to trademark, it is mostly a device, symbol, name or word that is used to trade goods or indicate the source of goods or items as well as to differentiate them from other goods. Trademark is used to avoid other from using a similar mark that can confuse others but it does not prevent others to make the same goods or sell similar products or services only if they have a different trademark. Trademarks that are used in foreign commerce or interstate can be registered with Patent and Trademark Office.

What is Service Mark?

Service mark is used to protect a certain service provided by a business and distinguished that service from same services provided by other company as well. Service mark may consist of a device, a symbol, words or combination. Some of the common types of service marks are educational conferences and training programs. This actually serves as a protection for a service mark that your company offers.

Copyright Can Protect the Following

  • shows
  • movies
  • plays
  • performance arts
  • publications
  • manuscripts
  • books
  • sound recordings
  • music
  • songs
  • drawings
  • graphic designs
  • photos
  • pictures
  • arts
  • other forms of expressions

Copyright protection from the above mentioned form of expression is very significant for the reason that it avoids other people to copy that work. Getting a copyright for your work is very significant because it can sometimes cause a trouble in the future especially if someone claims your original work.

The Importance of Intellectual Property Protection

Intellectual property protection is very important so that no one can copy or use your work without your consent or permission. Copyright infringement or plagiarism is a common intellectual property issues these days.


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