“A trademark is a word, logo, symbol or combination that sets your products or services apart.”

A trademark can be different things — words, symbols — but it has to help products or services be distinctive or tell consumers their source.

“A patent is a right granted by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) for your invention.”

The USPTO grants patents for inventions to the inventor (or to whom the inventor sells them). Patents last less than 20 years, but help protect your business.

“A copyright is protected by federal law protecting authors’ creative “original works” such as lyrics, website content, art & video.

Those rights begin whenever the “work” is created in a fixed form. Copyrights can last many, many years.

“A domain name is registered by agencies other than the USPTO but do not stop others from using a similar name.”

A domain name registrar can (and will) register the same word for .com / .org / .net addresses to different owners.

Timothy G. Ackermann is the lawyer responsible for this content. | Offices in Fort Worth, Dallas, Grapevine, Plano & Las Colinas. Principal Office located in Grapevine, Texas. Other locations by appointment only.