Trademarks, Copyrights, & Patents

Do you know what the difference is between these things?

As my former student Andrew pointed out, I have no real idea. :) So let's learn!

According to him:

Copyrights are for protecting an artists' creative works.
ie. J.K. Rowling has the copyright to the Harry Potter series.

Trademarks are for protecting the names and identifying marks used in commercial activity.
ie. The Target Corporation owns the trademark for its bulls-eye-target icon.

Patents are for scientific inventions, including machines, drugs, and the like.
ie. Apple has the patent for the iPod (and lucky them!).

Trademarks and copyrights don't need to be registered, though you get extra enforcement rights if you do register them. Patents have to go through the United States Patent & Trademark Office, and they have reviewers who look at applications and check to see whether the invention is actually new enough for a patent.

I could look all of this stuff up for you to name a source, but I believe Andrew! Thanks!

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