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Compare Intellectual Property Protections

Copyrights, trademarks, and patents are all designed to protect you and your intellectual property. But how do you know which protections you need?

Comparison Chart

Copyright, Trademark and Patent: What's the Difference?

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Choose Trademark, Copyright, or Patent Protection - Protect Your Intellectual Property

1. Select the IP protection that's best for you.

Protect Your Intellectual Property - Fill Out a Simple Questionnaire

2. Fill out a simple questionnaire to get started.

Trademark, Copyright, or Patent Application - Preparation and Filing with the State

3. We'll work with you to assemble your application and file it with the appropriate government agency.

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Common questions

What's the difference between a copyright and a trademark?
Copyrights generally protect original creative works, such as books, movies, songs, paintings, photographs, web content, and choreography. Trademarks, on the other hand, generally protect brand names, slogans, and logos that are used in the marketplace, and help consumers distinguish among products.
What works are eligible for copyright protection?
Copyright protects "original works of authorship" that are fixed in a tangible form. Broadly, this includes literary works, musical works, dramatic works, pantomimes and choreographic works, pictorial, graphic and sculptural works, motion pictures and other audiovisual works, sound recordings and architectural works.
What are the benefits of a registered trademark?
Some trademark rights are established simply by using the mark. However, these rights are limited and generally apply only to a limited geographical area. Registering for a federal trademark greatly expands your rights, and allows you to bring a federal suit against others who may be infringing on your trademark.
What is the difference between a design patent and a utility patent?
A design patent protects the unique appearance of a manufactured item—how it looks—and a utility patent protects an item's function – how it works. A utility patent may also be granted to protect a unique process or chemical compound. Some inventions may qualify for both design and utility patent protection, if both the design and the function are unique, and the design does not affect the article's function.

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Compare Intellectual Property Protection - Copyright, Trademark, Utility Patent, Design Patent

Before you can start protecting your ideas, you need to determine which type of IP protection is right for you. The intellectual property comparison chart above will help you learn about the different types of intellectual property protection, including copyrights, trademarks, utility patents, and design patents. Find out who typically seeks each type of protection, what types of intellectual property each one protects, and the benefits of registering or filing each one. Trademark registration is important for business and product owners who want to protect words, slogan, symbols, designs, and / or images that identify a business and distinguish it from others. Copyright registration protects books, articles, plays, songs, photographs, and other original works of authorship. A utility patent is for inventions with a new or improved function while a design patent protects the ornamental design of a functional item. Knowing which type of intellectual property protection you need is the first step; registering or filing for IP protection is the next step which can be confusing. That's where LegalZoom comes in. LegalZoom can help you register a trademark, register a copyright, or file a provisional patent application online. If you need help deciding which intellectual property protection is right for you a LegalZoom legal plan attorney can answer your questions and help you decide. 

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