What are the differences between patent and trademark?

The term intellectual property tells about different types of legal rights. The word intellectual property covers different areas like trademarks, copyright, design and patents. Though all the four look the same or used in the same context (in general), every word differs from another in many ways.

In this let us see the overview and differences between patent and trademark.


Patent is a legal right granted by respective government authorities to the original owner or author who applied first. This right is useful from others in making, using, selling for a timeframe. To get this right the author has to register with the concerned government by following their rules and procedure and have nominal fees accordingly.

Types of patents

  • Utility patent − Granted for machines, composition of matter, manufactures, useful inventions etc.

  • Design patent − Granted for original designs (ornamental, manufactured products)

  • Plant patent − Granted for discovery of new plant (asexually reproducible) and new


Trademarks are for logos, symbols which are unique to a product or business. These unique logos or symbols are used to remember their products in the market. This right is obtained by registering with respective governments by following rules and regulations and paying the fees accordingly.

These rights give exclusive rights to owners to use and also prevent other businesses from using their mark. Registration logos or symbols give the owner to file a lawsuit, if any other person misuses it without permission of the original owner.

In the present world an idea or product travels fast and changes the business very quickly. So registering these logos or symbols is very important from a business point of view.


The major differences between a patent and a trademark are as follows −

Monopoly is conferred by the respective government.It is a symbol used by companies in order to distinguish their services or products in the market.
Applies to all kinds of inventions.Symbol or marks on goods (act as brand).
Protects ideas.Protects goodwill (intellectual property).
Awarded to both novelty and non – obviousness.Awarded for distinctiveness.
Others can’t sell or produce the patent products.Others can’t use the trademark.
Registration is compulsory.Registration is discretionary.
Generally, the time is for 20 years.General time is for 10 years.