Table of Contents
What is Copyright?
Copyright refers to a legal term that describes creators’ rights to their literary and creative works. Examples of works that are protected by copyright include books, movies, songs, etc.
It can also be defined as a legal term that describes who owns and controls the rights to use and distribute particular creative works, such as books, videos, articles, names, quotes, songs, software, etc.
Copyright is a combination of two words, “copy” and “right.” It is the right of the creator or an approved person to reuse a creative work. Copyright helps ensure creators do not get their works plagiarized or reproduced without their authorization.
It gives creators the platform to monetize their works by selling them to individuals or organizations that might want to reproduce them or use them for personal purposes.
Copyright does not deal with machines or processes; those are governed by patent law. Works of art and literature are what copyright protects.
Through the grant of property rights, copyright seeks to incentivize and compensate writers for producing new works and making those works accessible to the general public.
By giving creators certain exclusive rights that protect their works from being copied or stolen, creators can make money from their work.
For a work to be protected by copyright, it must be authentic and original, a product of creativity, and tangible.
What is a Patent?
An invention is a product or a technique that, in general, offers a new way of doing something or presents a new technological solution to a problem. A patent is a legal right granted to an inventor for an invention. This invention is one that offers a new way of doing something or presents a technological solution to a problem. In a patent application, technical information about the new idea must be shared with the public.
The governments of various countries in the world grant patents to their inventors to prevent others from exploiting the patent without authorization.
Just like copyright protects the works of creators, patents protect the works of inventors and enable them to share their solutions in public without fear of theft or unauthorized use.
Simply put, this implies that the patented work may only be used, reproduced, or sold with the inventor’s prior written consent or authorization.
This provides financial opportunities for inventors. Inventors can sell their patent rights and thus profit from their invention. An example of a company that does this is Samsung. In 2017, the South Korea-based company sold over 8,894 patent grants.
Difference Between Copyright and Patent
- A patent is only valid for 20 years, after which the innovation becomes publicly available. Copyright has a longer lifespan than intellectual property, lasting for the owner’s lifetime plus an extra sixty years.
- A copyright protects the expression of an idea, while a patent protects the idea itself. Patents protect the algorithm and structure of a program, whereas copyright protects the program at a more specific level.
- Works covered under copyright include musical compositions, paintings, etc. Work that can be patented includes processes, chemical formulas, etc.
- Copyright is for creative and intellectual properties. A patent is for new inventions.
- An invention cannot be patented once it is made known to the public. Creators can obtain copyright anytime.
Comparison Between Copyright and Patent
|Parameters of comparison||Copyright||Patent|
|Duration||has a longer lifespan than intellectual property, lasting for the owner’s lifetime plus an extra sixty years.||is only valid for 20 years, after which the innovation becomes publicly available.|
|Purpose||protects the expression of an idea||protects the idea itself.|
|Inclusive of||Painting, musical composition, dramatic works, literature||Processes, chemical formulas, inventions, etc.|
|Span||Intellectual and creative properties||New inventions|
|Limitation||can be obtained at any time.||can not be obtained once made known to the public.|
William S. Strong (2014), The Copyright Book