What's the difference between a trademark, a patent, and a copyright?
A trademark typically protects brand names and logos used on goods and services.
A patent protects an invention.
A copyright protects an original artistic or literary work.
For example, if you invent a new kind of vacuum cleaner, you would apply for a patent to protect the invention itself. You would apply to register a trademark to protect the brand name of the vacuum cleaner. And you might register a copyright for the TV commercial that you use to market the product.
United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO): Inventor and entrepreneur resources
Copyright is a form of protection based on the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.
USTPO - IP Awareness Tool
The IP Awareness Assessment, developed under the joint efforts of United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and National Institute of Standards and Technology/Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST/MEP), allows you to assess your intellectual property awareness.