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How is a patent different than a trademark? 

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2023 | Patent Law

Patents and trademarks are both legal devices that can be used to protect intellectual property. They each set that intellectual property apart as something that belongs to a specific person, organization or company.

But the way that these devices work is much different. With a patent, you are focusing on an invention. Perhaps you’ve developed computer software or a new type of hydraulic press. This can be patented so that other companies cannot make and sell it, profiting off of your invention.

On the other hand, a trademark focuses on identifying information. This could include logos, sounds, symbols or words. If your company has a slogan or a jingle that you use in commercials, this can be trademarked so that other companies can’t use it. Companies will often work hard on their branding so that they are easily identifiable to their potential audience, and trademarks will be used for elements of this branding.

Preventing consumer confusion

In both senses, these tools can be used to stop consumer confusion. If you trademark identifying information, consumers won’t think that a competitor is actually your company, instead. By putting a patent on your products, you ensure that consumers won’t purchase them from the competition while thinking that they are buying from you. This helps protect your sales and revenue.

Patent law is very complicated. It is not a do-it-yourself project, and many people who do it on their own put their intellectual property at risk. It’s very important to have an experienced legal team on your side when navigating patent law. Contact our law firm today to learn more.