Several people know that copyrights and patents are both meant to protect intellectual property, but are not sure which are the different types of intellectual property covered by copyright and patent. What is the difference between copyright and patent, if they are both meant to protect intellectual property?
WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, attempts to oversee and regulate Intellectual Property worldwide. They say: "Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind: - Inventions, artistic and literary works, names and symbols, images, and designs used in commerce."
Purpose of copyright: Copyright is the right of a holder or creator of a copyright to have exclusive rights over their works of an artistic or creative nature. The purpose of copyright is to allow them to expand reimbursement for any sales or distributions or derivative works based on their original work.
The Purpose of a Patent: A patent protects the intellectual property rights contained in an invention. The purpose of a patent is to make sure either the inventor or whomever the inventor assigns the rights to are reimbursed for the time and effort contained in their invention, for a specified period of time.
How they differ from each other:
A copyright is given for work of a creative or artistic nature which has been fixed in a medium. Patents are granted to discoveries or inventions which were not known before. Even though both copyright and patents are covered under the term intellectual property, they have important differences from each other. Now, Copyrights extend well beyond the life of a creator, so they can be bequeathed to someone else after the creator's death. Patents should be applied for and awarded before the inventor gains exclusive rights, and those rights only exist for a limited time. However, a patent could be willed to someone by the inventor if it was still in effect. Patenting is a much more time consuming and expensive procedure than copyright, even if you are registering a copyright. It has a number of requirements and steps which must be completed before the application can be filed. These include searching through the database of the patent office of USA database for other patents already filed which is the same invention, or which are so similar that the new filing does not have enough novelty to get patented.