Do I Need a Copyright or a Patent?

What is a copyright?

Copyrights protect original works of art. This includes architectural drawings, photographs, books, songs, movies, software codes, etc. Copyrights give their owner the exclusive right to reproduce and profit off the underlying work. “Creators are not required to register their original creative work before copyright exists because rights exist automatically when the work is fixed in some tangible form,” said Tonya Evans, associate dean of academic affairs and professor of law at the University of New Hampshire. “But creators should register it for further protection.” A copyright registration allows the registrant to seek statutory damages.

What is a patent?

Patents protect new inventions or discoveries small mechanical devices, new medicines, software, etc.  An issued patent allows the inventor to stop others from making, using, or exporting the invention. The patent rights last for 20 years from the filing date of the patent application.