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October 20, 2022
John Rizvi, Esq.

What is the Difference Between a Trademark and a Patent?: The Patent Professor Answers

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00:06

Adrian would like to know: Can you please clarify what exactly is the difference between patents and trademarks?

Yeah, so the patent protects the idea, the function, the product itself. The trademark protects the brand. So one example would be the anti theft device LoJack, a lot of people are familiar with—the patent would protect the way that this product is able to identify your vehicle and help track it, the way it works. But that doesn't protect the brand. So if all you did was protect the way the product works, a competitor could sell a competing product that works differently, but they could still call it LoJack and not—and confuse your customers and they could sell it for half the price. All your customers are going to buy this competing product instead of yours. So you really need a patent and a trademark. The patent protects anyone from taking the idea. The trademark protects someone from using your brand and your logo, your name to sell their product. So, it prevents confusion in the marketplace. So, you want to protect the trademark. The patent would be first, so I would absolutely recommend proceeding with the patent immediately so that you get that secure filing date.

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