Legal

Difference Between Copyright and Trademark?

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Law-Court
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Copyright law protects the contents of your book, while trademark law protects the brand you create by marketing yourself and your work.  For example: J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter are trademarks – not only the books but also the films. Warner Bros, the studio behind the Harry Potter films, has trademarked the titles of JK Rowling’s fictional Quidditch teams, experts and books.  Visiting J.K. Rowling’s website you can also read: “Website and pulsing right TM and J.K. Rowling 2012.”  J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore website trademarked as a ‘global computer information network’.

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Dale Cendali, a lawyer won a highly publicized trademark, false endorsement and copyright fair use trial of J. K. Rowling against RDR Publishing, bringing a halt to the proposed publication of an unauthorized Harry Potter “Lexicon.” The trial was also named “Trademark and Copyright Trial of the Year” in 2009.

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Video Explains the Difference
Many writers, and even lawyers are not sure of the distinction between copyright and trademark.
A fantastic video provides a quick and easy breakdown of the three main types of intellectual property: trademarks, patents, and copyrights.  You’ll learn how trademarks differ from domain names and business names.  By the end of the video, you will understand how to use each type of intellectual property to protect a different aspect of your business.
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What is a Trademark?
Creating a trademark is not as simple. A trademark is commonly known as a brand name, like Mercedes or VISA or HomeDepot, although it may also be a logo, word, slogan, décor, packaging, symbol or any combination thereof used in commerce to identify a service or good, or anything else which is associated with a particular product or service in the minds of consumers. It is created only by being used in the market. See lots of logos / companies that are trademarked here.
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Which federal office issues this protection?
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  See their video too.
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How long can the benefit/ protection last?
Unlimited, so long as the owner renews every 10 years and continues to use the trademark. The initial costs start at US$169.  Trademark protection is renewable every 10 years following the initial registration.  An online application for the registration of a trademark in Canada will be Can$ 250.  There is a free search function available too on the Canadian Intellectual Property website.

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If I don’t file an application, do I still have ownership rights?

So long as you are not infringing on another trademark, you can gain rights to the mark simply by using it. But with a registered trademark, you can enforce federal trademark protection.
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What is trademark dilution?
Under a relatively new law, the owner of a famous trademark may bring an action to stop any use that blurs or tarnishes the mark whether or not there is confusion in the marketplace. For instance, Trademarks do not expire automatically.  They last as long as the brand name is used in the market and has not gone generic. Many common trademarks are over 100 years old, including John Deere, Goodyear, and Campbell’s Soup.

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What is the Copyright?
Copyright law protects the contents of your book, and trademark law protects the brand you create by marketing yourself and your work. Both are forms of intellectual property, meaning they are creations of the mind. They share legal terms such as infringement, fair use, and registration. The copyright in a work created in the U.S. today will last for the life of the author plus 70 years, in Canada only 50 years.

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It is not required for an author to register your work or even provide a notice.  But… there are reasons to protect yourself and what you created.  Copyright means the sole right to produce or reproduce a work in any form. And in most countries, a work – such as literature, music or software – is automatically protected as soon as it is created.  Excluded are ideas, titles, names, facts and short phrases.  Lists are only protected (in the USA) if the meet the “threshold of originality”.  On the other side: proving your claim can be a very difficult matter without proper evidence.  It often boils down to a case of “their word against yours”.
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Logos Can Be Both
The only exception to the general rules listed above is that logos can be protected by both: trademarks and copyrights.  A (publisher) logo is both a creative work (which is required for copyright protection), and a device used to distinguish or differentiate a product or service from another competing product or service (which is required for trademark protection).
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Without proper protection, work that you have created and the brand that you established, could end up making money for someone else.  Now that you understand everything there is to know about copyrights and trademarks, get protection.  Whether you’re just starting out or you’re already established, a registered trademark will help expand the protection of your author brand / publishing imprint nationwide.

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Further Reading:

http://www.diffen.com/difference/Copyright_vs_Trademark

http://secureyourtrademark.com/blog/trademark-vs-copyright/

https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/what-every-writer-needs-to-know-about-copyright/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAVbXGXelsY

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