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How do patents and trademarks differ?

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2023 | Business & Commercial Law

These days, it is more important than ever to stand out from the crowd in order to have a successful business.

Protecting your intellectual property is the best way to ensure that you can keep what makes your company unique protected from anyone who might try to ride your coattails.


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office clearly defines the differences between types of intellectual property, including patents and trademarks.

Patents typically cover technical inventions. This can include mechanical processes, complex machinery, chemical compositions such as medications, or new, usable and unique machine designs that some industries may find use for.

The primary protection here is the safeguard of any invention from other parties who may want to use, make, copy or sell part or the entirety of this particular invention without the consent of the original creator.


A trademark will protect a design, word or phrase, or a combination thereof, that allows people to instantly identify where a good or service comes from. An example might include McDonald’s phrase, “I’m lovin’ it”.

Protection of a trademark disallows any other party from filing for trademark protection for the same thing. It also allows someone to keep anyone else from using similar phrases, words, designs or combinations that would intentionally confuse customers and make them believe that they have purchased something from one brand when in reality they have purchased something from another.

Not only does this help protect the consumer, but it also helps protect the integrity and fame of the original brand owner, which is invaluable to reputation in this day and age.