The Difference Between Patents and Copyright – A Copyright Lawyer Explains
Copyright is often thought to be a much broader concept than it actually is. This is why it is so important to use good copyright lawyers whenever you have an issue in this area. Read on to find out more about the differences between copyright and patents.CopyrightIn the UK, copyright is something that typically applies to a work that has been recorded or preserved in some manner. This could be, for example, a sound recording, a film or television recording, a written document, a musical score, a computer programme or an artistic work. Copyright protection doesn’t protect an idea or concept: if two people create a piece of work based on the same idea, it is not an infringement of copyright; it is only an infringement if one of them directly and deliberately copies content from the other. This area of law, however, is complex and if you have concerns about infringement, make sure that you consult a specialist copyright lawyer.This type of intellectual property right protection tends not to relate to things such as names and titles. It can, however, apply to things such as logos. If you assert your right to copyright, it is an automatic international right with the relatively few exceptions. It protects you from things such as unauthorised performances, copying of your work, unauthorised lending, adapting or plagiarism. Copyright lawyers will be able to give you a full breakdown of what you are covered for, and you should always speak to a copyright lawyer should you have an issue or query in this area. Whilst on the subject, with regard to the protection of any intellectual property rights, make sure you get a specialist lawyer – most lawyers simply don’t deal with copyright or any other intellectual property right on a regular basis and the law in this area is particularly complex.PatentsIn contrast, a patent is different to copyright as it tends to refer more to inventions and other industrial processes; patent protection means that your inventions cannot be implemented by others unless you authorise them to do so, perhaps in the form of a licence. Also, whereas copyright is an automatic right, the process of patent protection can take up to 3 years – for a patent to be granted for an invention or process. This is why you are advised to get your patent application in as soon as you possibly can to avoid anyone else working on similar things to do it before you. Patents are granted by national governments and they typically apply to a national level, unlike copyrights which are in broad terms, international.