Sometimes people confuse copyrights and trademarks. While both are forms of intellectual property, the two concepts are not the same. Nonetheless, copyrights and trademarks are important to the businesses that utilize them. If you are just starting out as a business owner, you should understand the basics of copyrights and trademarks and how to protect your own.
According to Chron, a business or any individual may copyright a work created in a fixed form, including dramatic, musical, literary, artistic, or specific intellectual properties. Common examples of copyrighted works include movies and books. Under copyright law, you as a business owner may create your own books, films, audio, or literary works for your company and register them with the U.S. Copyright office.
Trademarks differ from copyrights in that they refer to something that distinguishes a good or service from those created by another company or party. A trademark can protect a word, a name, a symbol, color, sound, something that makes your company and its products distinguishable from competitors. If you have a business name, a logo or a slogan, you can seek to trademark it so that it is yours alone to use.
Since copyrights and trademarks differ, you will have to register each with the appropriate government entity. If you want to trademark a business name or a slogan, you will need to register it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. While the government considers copyrighted works protected from their creation, there is no guarantee a court will protect your copyright unless you have already registered it with the U.S. Copyright Office. Once you have registered a copyright, you will have the ability to litigate other businesses if they infringe on your copyright.