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Understanding Intellectual Property: A Simple Guide to Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents

Stefan on 3 January 2024
Understanding Intellectual Property: A Simple Guide to Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents

In business and creativity, protecting your unique ideas and work is important. This blog simplifies the three main types of intellectual property: trademarks, copyrights, and patents.

Trademarks: Your Brand's Mark

What's a Trademark?

A trademark is anything like a logo, slogan, or symbol that identifies your business.

Why Trademarks Matter

Trademarks protect your brand. They stop confusion and help customers recognize your brand.

Trademark Duration

They can last forever if you keep using them and renew them when needed.

Copyrights: Protecting Your Creative Work

What's Copyright?

Copyright is for original creative work like books, music, art, or software.

What Copyright Does

It lets creators control how their work is used.

How Long Copyright Lasts

It usually lasts for the creator's life plus some years. After that, the work is free for public use.

Patents: For Your Inventions

What's a Patent?

Patents protect new inventions or discoveries.

Why Patents Matter

They give inventors exclusive rights for a while, encouraging innovation.

Patent Duration

Patents usually last 20 years from when you apply.

Comparing Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents

  • Trademarks: For logos, brand names and symbols.
  • Copyrights: For creative works.
  • Patents: For inventions.
  • Duration: Trademarks can last indefinitely, copyrights for a set time, and patents around 20 years.

Why Protect Intellectual Property?

  • Protection encourages creativity and innovation.
  • Build trust in your brand.
  • Balance private rights and public access.

Getting Intellectual Property Protection


  • Check for Trademarks: Make sure your trademark isn't already taken by someone else. You can do this easily through Govchain when you apply.
  • Apply for Your Trademark Online: It's quick and easy to register your trademark with Govchain.


  • Choose Your Work Type: Figure out what kind of creative work you have and if it can be copyrighted.
  • Make Your Work Official: Put your work in a physical form, like writing it down or recording it, to get copyright protection.
  • Register Your Copyright: It's not required, but registering gives you more legal protection and is a good idea for extra safety. Contact the CIPC department to apply.


  • Search for Patents: Check if your invention is new and not already patented with a detailed search.
  • Apply for a Patent: Write a detailed application for your invention and send it to the CIPC department.
  • Go Through the Patent Review: Work with the patent reviewers to fix any issues and get your patent approved.

Protecting your ideas and creations is key to business and creativity. Knowing about trademarks, copyrights, and patents helps keep your work safe and supports ongoing innovation.