Copyright Vs Trademark: Types of IP Protection You Should Opt For?

Intellectual property (IP) is an aspect of business that is omnipresent, and we feel its ripples on every walk of life. IP manifests itself in myriad forms in our daily lives: it could be the logo of a biscuit brand that we buy from the supermarket or a work of art that you created. Yet no one, except trademark attorneys, seems to realise the importance of IP in their daily lives.

Even established businesses get confused over whether they should apply for trademark registration Dubai or obtain copyright protection. That is why businesses consult with the best trademark agents in Dubai, UAE, for advice on IP-related issues. This blog is not an alternative for legal advice, yet you can use it as a guideline for determining the type of protection you should get for your various IP assets.

Let’s get started:

What is Copyright?

If you are an author, music composer, or creator of original work, you can protect your works with copyright registration in the UAE. Copyright basically protects authorship of creative works such as books, photographs, painting, music, and even websites. In the UAE, the clauses for protecting copyrights of creative works are enshrined in the Federal Law No. 7 of 2002 Concerning copyrights and neighbouring rights. The law amends the previous “Federal Law NO. (40) for the year 1992 for the protection of intellectual works and Copyright”.

Related: Intellectual Property Rights in the UAE: 5 Unique Challenges

What is a Trademark?

A trademark effectively helps the consumer identify your brands in the market. Brand owners can conduct trademark registration in the UAE to protect their brand name, logo, slogan, or design from IP theft. A registered trademark helps your brand stand apart from the competitors in the target market. Consumers associate a well-known trademark with their previous favourable experience and attribute a higher degree of trust onto the brand. By registering a trademark in the UAE, you can take legal action on competitors who commit infringement.

Also read: 7 Reasons Why Trademark Registration is Critical for Every Business

Copyright Vs Trademarks: What’s the Difference?

Understanding the differences between copyright and trademark is integral to your IP portfolio management. Both are prominent forms of IP assets that, however, differ in the way they are used. The following are the major ways in which copyright and trademark differ from each other:

  • Trademarks are Source Identifiers

Trademarks serve as a unique source identifier that enables the customer to instantly recognise your products. If you walk into a supermarket, you will see a number of similar products sitting on the shelf. However, each of them has its own unique trademarks that distinguish it from others.

In contrast, copyright serves as a protective mechanism that safeguards a work from unauthorised reproduction. Unlike the trademarks, a copyright doesn’t serve any purpose to distinguish one from another. It doesn’t even stop someone from taking an idea from a published work and reformat in their own words.

  • Copyright is Automatic

An author is entitled to copyright protection the moment he creates his original work—be it a book, a motion picture or a music composition. The right here comes automatically but registering the copyright only legally enhances the rights of the author.

However, brand owners can enjoy the full benefits of protection by conducting trademark registration in the UAE. The trademark only gets a legal validity when it is entered into the register at the UAE Trademark Office. The brand owners can use the logo or brand name before registering it at the UAE trademark office. However, it gets a legal standing only after you formally register it. Consult with the best trademark agents in Dubai to get robust insights about the procedures and requirements at the Trademark Office.

  • Active Use Not Necessary for Copyright

In many jurisdictions, trademarks are assigned to the respective brand owners on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis. In the UAE, the non-use of a registered trademark is reason enough for third parties to request for cancellation. The trademark owners in such cases would be required to provide evidence of use to prove the marks are in use. Failing to prove the use may lead to cancellation of the UAE-registered trademark.

In contrast, the protection granted by copyright registration stays intact for a long time. It doesn’t matter whether the copyrighted work is in circulation or not during the entire period. The copyright is also enforceable during the protection period assigned to the work of authorship.

  • Trademarks are Renewable

One big advantage that trademarks have over copyright is the former can be renewed indefinitely. The validity of trademark registration in the UAE is for ten years, and it can be renewed upon expiry. A trademark can be renewed every ten years as long as it is actively in use and has not become generic.

Copyright protection, on the other hand, is not renewable once its lifespan expires. A book becomes ‘open source’ when its copyright protection expires. Many celebrated books are now entered the public domain as their copyright period ended. Such books can be reproduced and can even be made into films.

Protect your IP Assets with Jitendra Intellectual Property

Businesses and individuals often express their confusion over the difference between copyright and trademark. Many often, people use both the terms as if it is synonymous with each other. We hope this article helps you in debunking your basic misconceptions about these prominent IP assets. Be it copyright or trademarks, the businesses and individuals should ensure to register it with the relevant authorities. As an experienced IP consultancy firm, Jitendra Intellectual Property (JIP) helps you in conducting trademark registration in the UAE without any hassle. Our team is composed of the best trademark agents in Dubai who are well-versed in UAE Trademark Law. We provide a broad range of trademark services in the UAE such as trademark search, trademark watch, trademark renewal, assistance in trademark opposition & disputes etc. With JIP’s bespoke assistance, the brand owners can ensure that their trademarks are secure in the UAE as well as other GCC countries.

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