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Trademark, Patent & Copyright

What’s Trademark?

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. Examples include brand names, slogans, and logos. (The term “trademark” is often used in a general sense to refer to both trademarks and service marks.) Similar to copyright, a person does not need not register a trademark or service mark to receive protection rights, but there are certain legal benefits to registering the mark with the USPTO. There is rarely an overlap between trademark and copyright law but it can happen — for instance, when a graphic illustration is used as a logo the design may be protected both under copyright and trademark.

What’s Copyright?

A copyright is a collection of rights automatically vested to you once you have created an original work. To understand how these rights can be used or licensed, it is helpful to analogize them to a bundle of sticks, where each stick represents a separate right vested to you as the owner. These rights include the right to reproduce the work, to prepare derivative works, to distribute copies, to perform the work publicly, and to display the work publicly. As the copyright owner, you have the authority to keep each “stick,” to transfer them individually to one or more people, or to transfer them collectively to one or more people. This can be accomplished through licensing, assigning, and other forms of transfers. The power of copyright allows you to choose the way your work is made available to the public.

What’s Patent?

The primary goal of the patent law is to encourage innovation and commercialization of technological advances. Patent law incentivizes inventors to publicly disclose their inventions in exchange for certain exclusive rights. A patent protects inventions. These inventions can include new and useful processes, machines, manufactures, compositions of matter as well as improvements to these. Certain computer programs may fall within the subject matter protected by both patents and copyrights. In this respect the patent system compliments copyright protection by providing protection for functional aspects of the software, which are not protected by copyright. Unlike with copyright protection, to get patent protection one must first apply for and be granted a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Unlike the copyright registration process, the patent application process is expensive, complex, difficult, and time consuming and generally should not be attempted without the assistance of an experienced patent attorney or agent.

Digital Signature Certificates (DSC) are the digital equivalent (that is electronic format) of physical or paper certificates. Few Examples of physical certificates are drivers' licenses, passports or membership cards. Certificates serve as proof of identity of an individual for a certain purpose; for example, a driver's license identifies someone who can legally drive in a particular country. Likewise, a digital certificate can be presented electronically to prove one’s identity, to access information or services on the Internet or to sign certain documents digitally. What is the process of obtaining DSC from Certifying Authority?

• Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) Applicants can directly approach Certifying Authorities (CAs) with original supporting documents, and self-attested copies will be sufficient in this case

• DSCs can also be obtained, wherever offered by CA, using Aadhar eKYC based authentication, and supporting documents are not required in this case

• A letter/certificate issued by a Bank containing the DSC applicant’s information as retained in the Bank database can be accepted. Such letter/certificate should be certified by the Bank Manager.

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