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Difference Between Copyright and Trademark

[This transcript is a result of automated audio transcription from the video posted below. For help from Copyright Trademark Lawyer Brian Russ, visit www.CopyrightTrademarkLawyer.com or call 888-632-6623. Grammatical errors may be present in the transcript below. This transcript is for informational purposes only and may not be relied on as legal advice.]

Hey everyone its attorney Brian Russ from CopyrightTrademarkLawyer.com. I’m a copyright and trademark attorney. I’ve helped clients with the US copyright and trademark registration process, you know, getting your rights acquired, you know, the purpose of this video today is to discuss, you know what is the difference between a copyright and trademark.

I have people call my office all the time asking, you know, oh, you know, they’ll call and they’ll say oh I need a copyright for my business. I’ll say well what are you going to use it for they say well it’s for my logo, that’s a little bit different than a copyright. It’s usually more of a trademark right people, they call in “I need to trademark my poems”, you don’t trademark a poem you copyright it. And so the purpose of this video is to provide a very high level, very consumer friendly quick snippet of what’s the difference between copyright and trademark, this is not an advanced course this is not, you know, very detailed this is high level. This is quick and dirty, so to speak, but before you go I have a few disclaimers I have to give you and I try to get through these fast.

The first disclaimer is that this is not legal advice. This is an informational video only for informational educational purposes only. Next is that you need to retain an attorney to help you with your situation, if you need help getting your rights, registered and acquired. If you need help determining what your rights are, what you need to do get an attorney, contact my office copyright, trademark lawyer calm you can reach out to our team there, you can give us a call at 888-632-6623 We’ll help you as well. Also by your viewing this video I have to tell you that no attorney client relationship forms I don’t know you, you don’t know me. This video is not made for any particular person or any particular situation and finally, to the extent this video can be considered an advertisement shouldn’t be considered an advertisement I’m a lawyer and I sell my services, you can like I said you can find me at the URL above or at the phone number. We’ll see if we can work together.

Now getting to the topic of the video. The difference between copyright and trademark. You know the first thing I want to kind of talk about these are basics, is that the basic idea is that copyright equals art  – original works of art. Now, now, again this is this is real basic, you know, you know, imagine you write a book. That book is copyrightable, right. So, it’s art you new paint a painting, copyright, you take a picture, copyright, you come up with choreography, copyright, it’s art, It’s an original creative expression is art. Now trademark is much more in the business realm trademark is used in commerce trademark is used, it’s, it’s, you know something you use in commerce to distinguish your product from the competitor so again you can’t, if you’re selling a chocolate chip cookie or donut, I like donuts. You know, we’ll go good doughnuts, you cannot trademark if you’re selling a doughnut, you cannot trademark the word donut, you can’t claim that you are selling a doughnut. Because donut is everyone who donated it, but if you you want to trademark the word. I don’t know, Quatzolottel donuts well Quatzolottel is this fanciful word that doesn’t mean anything and it’s meant to distinguish your doughnuts from Donut Town down the road or whatever it is. So again, your trademark is some, you know, logo, or word, your design mark or phrase that can be used in business to distinguish your product or service from your competitors.

Now, the thing I want to focus on is that you know, I kind of already touched on this, is that copyright protects original works, its original works of creative expression. So whether you register it or not, if you create an original work of creative expression, you made a copyrightable work, it’s protected. So it’s YouTube video is a copyrighted work, as I’m speaking it the copyright comes into existence as I record this it comes into existence. Now, trademarks, like I said, they help distinguish goods and services but trademarks, you know, you actually have to use them in commerce, you have to show to the United States patent trademark office that you are using the mark in commerce, for the class of goods or services for which you want to register the mark. So we’ll go back to our donor example with a quadrilateral doughnuts. You know, if you just come up with the idea, but you don’t actually use it in commerce, you’re not going to get registration for that word, you have to show that you’re actually selling product under that name, or selling you know services under that name.

And so again, like I said, it helps distinguish between the goods and services of your competitors, but with trademark, I mean with copyright there’s no requirement. You know of use for the copyright to exist, like I said it comes into existence immediately now. Now, there are certain benefits of registering your copyrights and I unequivocally believe that it is important to register your copyrights, if you are putting them out in the marketplace if you’re putting them on the internet. You know if you are a designer, or let’s say you’re a graphic designer and you’re, you’re putting out, you know, Things that could potentially be logos or that people would want to use, especially if it’s something that could potentially go viral, you need to register your copyright, there are benefits you get from registering your copyright that you do not get just by it being an existence.

So like I said before, even though copyright can come into existence at any time, you know when that creative expression occurs or, you know, if you don’t register it with the copyright office you you’re not going to get all the protections, and the benefits of the law. So like I said, you know, this video was a real real high overview I tried to keep it really simple. You know, I know there’s a lot of nuance I did not discuss things may be considered differently by different people. If you have a question about, you know, getting a copyright registration or registering your trademark contact my office, copyright, trademark lawyer.com My numbers 886326623 Now the great thing is, I can help clients across the United States with this stuff, you know, although I’m based in California, I can help clients in New York I can help clients in Arizona I can help you in Delaware, Florida etc Texas any anywhere, give my office a call, contact us, let’s talk about your situation and see how it can help. Alright have a good one.