What is Difference Between Patent and Copyright?

What is the difference between a patent and a copyright? In simple terms, a patent protects an invention, process, chemical, or manufactured object. On the other hand, copyright protects original creations, such as music, artwork, poetry, computer software, and website content. Though they are both intellectual property rights, each one has distinct benefits and disadvantages. This article will explore both. So, which one is better?


The expiration of patents and copyrights is a hugely important aspect of IP management. Although they do not have an indefinite term like copyrights, patents are a critical component of a flourishing innovation culture. Understanding when your patents will expire will help you prepare and plan for the date that you need to renew your rights. After all, knowing how long your patents and copyrights will last will help you improve your IP management strategy.

Expiration of patent and copyright rights are different for different types of patents. A utility patent protects a physical invention. A design patent protects the shape or visual properties of a manufactured product. A design patent lasts fourteen years. The expiration date of a patent depends on where it was filed. If you’re unsure, look up the terms and conditions of your patent to see what your rights are.

If your patent has already expired, the time period to renew it will be less than the length of your original term. Many countries follow the same 20-year rule. This means that patents can last for a long time, but they might expire sooner. To check whether your patent is expired, check government records. Google Patents is a searchable database of all patents worldwide. The site’s user-friendly interface makes it easy to find expired patents by title, inventor, and patent number. You can even search for the patent’s expiration if you know what technological field it falls into.


While there are many advantages to obtaining a patent, copyright and copyrights are not the same thing. A patent protects the original, patented work of an individual or company. In contrast, copyrights protect the ideas contained in a book. Both copyrights and patents have different durations. Copyrights generally last for the lifetime of the author, plus 70 years. Meanwhile, patents last for only twenty years from the filing date. As such, the public may be able to use the patented idea for free much sooner.

While both forms of intellectual property are valuable, copyrights and patents serve different purposes. Copyrights protect the form of an expression, while patents protect original works of authorship. While copyrights are not as widely recognized, they do protect the expression behind an original work. For example, a logo, title, or short phrase can be protected. A trademark, on the other hand, protects the source of goods.

The difference between a patent and a trademark is in their purposes. Patents protect an invention from being used by others, while trademarks protect the source of a product or service. Trademarks provide exclusive use of certain images and are an essential part of a business’s branding strategy. They also prevent others from using similar marks and confusing consumers. Furthermore, trademarks can protect an ornamental design of a product or an identifying symbol.

Form of expression

A patent and copyright both protect the author’s written and artistic expression, and trademarks protect the source of a product. A copyright may protect the design or artistic shape of a bottle, and a utility patent can protect the functional or utilitarian features of a product. Let’s say a perfume manufacturer has created a new scent with a famous celebrity’s name. In order to protect the bottle design, the perfume manufacturer may use copyright to protect the artistic shape of the packaging. A utility patent would protect the manufacturer’s name or celebrity’s name and a new, tamper-proof closing method for the bottle.

Despite their similarities, patents and copyrights have distinct functions. A patent is a legal shield for an original work of authorship, whereas a copyright protects the form of expression, not the idea behind the expression. Hence, it’s important to understand the differences between the two. Listed below are the differences between a patent and a copyright. When evaluating a potential patent, look for the following differences:

Exclusion from protection

Copyright laws protect ideas, processes, systems, principles, and discoveries that have been created and published by others. This exclusion helps to maintain the distinction between copyright and patent law, since both are intended to protect creative works. While patents cover the creation of physical products, copyright covers the expression of ideas. Therefore, the two laws are not equivalent. If these laws were to overlap, copyright would trump patents.

For example, government agencies can condition their support of new processes and technologies on non-exclusive licensing of their resulting products. The National Institutes of Health can exclude its own breakthrough cancer treatment from patent protection. Agriculture could use similar approaches. In the long run, government-funded research should ensure that the public has access to new technologies, which are necessary to improve the quality of our lives. Thus, the exclusion of imported products from the patent system is not an efficient way to protect IP.

The exemption against patent-infringement is most often found in judicial pronouncements. Patent holders will not sue a university researcher unless they believe that his or her research methods are infringing on the patents. Moreover, judicial pronouncements on experimental use generally address cases where the patent holder finds the defendant’s activities infringing on their intellectual property rights to be annoying and worth a lawsuit. In other words, this defense has been largely ineffective for patent-holders.

Combination with patents

The term “combination with patents” refers to a patent that combines elements of two or more previous patents. Until the KSR v. Teleflex decision in 2009, it was relatively easy to meet the obviousness requirement for a combination patent. Under the TSM test (teaching-suggesting-motivating), inventions were patented if they were not obvious to those of ordinary skill in the art.

Combination with copyrights

Patents and copyrights are two types of IP protection. While patents are the most expensive, copyrights are often less expensive and more ironclad. Patents, however, can be difficult to obtain, and a combination of the two might not be a wise choice. Here are some important differences between the two types of IP protection. Read on to learn more. Let’s start with patents.