As a business owner or entrepreneur, it is crucial to prioritize the protection of intellectual property (IP) since it represents one of the most significant assets your business will possess. Intellectual property encompasses various valuable assets protected by legal rights. The three main areas of IP are trademarks, copyrights, and patents. However, IP is often misunderstood and can lead to confusion. Many people and businesses mistakenly refer to everything as a copyright, when in reality, it could be a trademark or vice versa. To effectively safeguard your IP, it is essential to understand its nature. Identifying the specific type of IP involved can be challenging, but it is a critical step in the protection process.


A trademark is synonymous with a brand or brand name. It encompasses any name, word, symbol, slogan, or device that plays a crucial role in identifying and distinguishing a business or product from others in the market. When you successfully trademark your business, you gain the legal right to protect yourself and halt any attempts by others to use similar elements that could cause customer confusion. Trademarks play a vital role in the success of franchised businesses like McDonald’s and Subway.

Example: Nike’s famous “swoosh” logo and even the Nike slogan “Do It.

Importance of trademark

As a trademark owner, you possess the authority to prevent others, including competitors, from using your trademark or any similar ones that may lead to confusion. Moreover, some banks may require a trademark for you to open a business account under your business name. Trademarking provides you with legal ownership and protection in specific locations, whether local, state, or nationwide. Trademarked companies often strive to maintain a strong reputation by delivering quality services and products. Furthermore, trademarks serve as a means of safeguarding consumers, ensuring they can trust the authenticity and source of the goods or services they purchase.

Trademarks provide protection for both businesses and consumers, making them an important part of running a successful company. Therefore, it is good practice for all business owners to take sufficient action to protect and enforce valuable trademarks.


Copyright is a type of protection granted to creators of “original works of authorship,” encompassing literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic creations. This legal provision offers copyright owners exclusive rights, such as the authority to use and reproduce the copyrighted work, create derivative works, distribute copies of the copyrighted work, publicly perform the work, and display it publicly. These rights are granted for an extended period, ensuring long-term protection for the creators’ intellectual property.

Importance of copyrights

Copyright safeguards the specific expression or form of a creative work (e.g., the actual writing) rather than the subject matter itself, which might be protected by a patent for inventions or trademark law for brand names or logos.

As the copyright owner, you possess the authority to regulate how your work is reproduced, distributed, and publicly displayed. This grants you the ability to prevent others, including competitors, from using your copyrighted works or any substantially similar works.


Hence, the primary objective of intellectual property law is to foster the generation of diverse intellectual goods. To attain this goal, the law confers property rights to individuals and businesses over the information and intellectual creations they produce, typically for a finite duration. By granting economic incentives for their creation, people are encouraged to profit from their intellectual goods. These incentives are anticipated to spur innovation and bolster the technological advancement of countries, contingent upon the level of protection afforded to innovators.