Difference between Copyright and Patent

Difference between Copyright and Patent

Legal & Compliance

Vakilsearch Staff

Vakilsearch Staff

109 week ago — 6 min read

You might be familiar with the words copyright and patent if you are into research with any kind of scientific enterprise or have your own company or any sort of entrepreneurship. You need to understand the difference between copyright and patent in accelerating high-quality work or investment and overall scientific research. Getting the correct copyright and patent will make all your businesses or entrepreneurship stable. If you are working as part of a research team, the importance of patents and copyright is also immense. In this article, get to know the difference between these two terms, know their features, and how you can avail the benefits. 

What is a Patent? 

A patent can be an exclusive right for any invention, which includes an innovative process synonymous with a product or a kind of process that consists of a novice way of doing things, researching, and finding out facts. To get a patent, you need to be aware of some technical and official information; for instance, the technical details on the whole invention should be publicly emphasized and displayed as part of any patent application. Hence, the subtle differences between copyright and patent must be understood before investing in your patent-related work or elaborating on these. To qualify for any kind of patent, you should display the innovative nature of the work and find out whether the invention can be practically applied or whether it will have better prospects in terms of industrial use or scientific application. 

  • You can go for an invention, but it is not always patentable if it is just a scientific invention or involves any kind of aesthetic or literary taste
  • Copyright and patent can also not be processed or synthesized if it involves any kind of surgical or treatment applicable to the human or the plant body
  • Generally, any copyright functions as per the copyright act of 1957, and it typically has more years of longevity when compared to a patent. So, you must know the difference between them before starting the process. 

If you wonder if any machine can be patented or not, the answer is that it can happen only when it is a unique kind of machine and not something in general. How you can protect your expression or an idea, or any type of content part from a book, or a whole book, depends on what kind of composite knowledge you have about the patent. Depending on the product type and variety, whether patentable or eligible for copyright is decided. You should take guidance about patent and copyright registration before going for any of these.

Also read: How to file a patent in India?


Know more about Copyright

Suppose you are wondering about the details of copyright. In that case, you should know that it is an exclusive and legal right to reproduce or to sell, publish or distribute the matter or form of something, including musical, theatrical, literary, or any kind of artistic work. While going for copyright and patent, you will get clarity about the intellectual property like computer programs, illustrations in any medium, sound recordings and even blog posts and poems, and architectural heritage works, which can all be protected with copyright help. Even the Supreme court has declared that any work should have that spark, uniqueness, and legitimacy to qualify under copyright. For instance, any name, title, lettering, or color should not be part of the copyright. It protects expression, but it does not extend to methods or any kind of personal principle. Also, you need to have sufficient knowledge about how a work can be recorded, written down, and captured as part of a fixed asset. You have to keep in mind certain ideas for the copyright issues, like derivatives, distribution methods and channels, public display of the work, audio and video channels, and how long you will keep the work under copyright. 

What is the difference between Copyright and Patent?

Copyright and patent often turn out to be confusing if you do not know the difference between the two:

  • Copyright generally serves authors, but a patent is ideal for serving investors
  • Copyright generally protects any type of creative work, but in the case of a patent, there is a grant of an exclusive right to exploit any kind of invention.
  • Copyright generally applies to photography, art, and music, whereas patent applies to major technology and medical device.
  • A patent usually has a validity of about 20 years, after which the work of invention becomes open to the public. Copyright generally has a much longer validity and serves between 70-170 years compared to this.
  • Patent usually works in a complex way. Suppose you do not have proper professional guidance about patents and copyright. You should check the registration and verification processes and the design before filing for patents or copyrights.  
  • All the inventors are supposed to go through a registration process for all kinds of patents. The copyright, on the other hand, requires no process of registration, and it is an automatic process. for example, a patent can be there for the telephone or a microwave oven, but copyright can be exclusively applied to Microsoft Windows as a part of a significant invention. 

Since there is a considerable number of data loss or theft, theft of invention, ideas, etc., there is always a need for 
copyright and patent to enhance the overall security of the project. 


Also read: What are the documents needed for Design registration?

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.


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