The lecture on copyright has open my mind on how the world works in terms of protecting one’s right and work based on copyright, trademark & patent.
So what’s the difference?
Copyright is a law that exists to protect the creator or artist rights from being exploited in his own work. Depending on the nature of the work, copyright is meant to create a safe zone for the creator from other party making money off his own work for a limited period of time.
On the other hand, a trademark is something that is created to identify a brand or yourself. This can include a word, name or a symbol. There is a difference between the subscript TM & R. The “R” just means it is a registered trademark and that certain applications was undergo to get it registered but anyone can use the subscript TM in their brands. It is essentially created, to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark.
A patent is a right protecting the inventor for his invention. It is usually applicable only for a limited duration. In Singapore for the patent to be applicable, the invention must be in accordance with 3 main criteria and they are; it must be new in the world, the invention should be a major improvement and the invention must be able to be produced in today’s technology and industry.
Which can I use to protect my work?
In summary, if you are looking into protecting a word, symbol, logo, slogan, then applying for trademark is for you. If you are looking into protecting a form of expression such as written works, forms of images, works of art, sound recordings and performance arts such as movies, play, etc., then applying for copyright is for you. Lastly, if you are looking into protecting a new invention you created, then applying for patent is for you.
Any examples that it helps in protecting my work?
The case of Rogers vs Koons, Art Rogers, photographer, took the photo on the left in 1985 but in 1988 when Jeff Koons came across the photo, he created a set of statuses based on the photograph and made a lot of profit. When Rogers sued Koons for copyright infringement, Koons lost and had to pay a substantial amount as the work of art was too similar to the photo.
Lucasfilm Ltd registered a trademark for the word “Droid” when it is used in Star Wars: A New Hope movie which was released in 1977. On October 9, 2009, Verizon released their mobile devices under the word “Droid”. Since it is using the same word to refer to a similar device, Verizon had to pay Lucasfilm Ltd a sum to continue using the name as a brand name.
In conclusion, it is important to understand the difference between copyright, trademark & patent and by knowing the differences, one can then avoid oneself against these things but also apply to protect one’s rights.