A patent is a document granting exclusive rights to an inventor. An invention which is legally protected by a patent allows exclusive rights to the inventor to sell, manufacture, and produce the invention. Patents ensure a level of protection for your invention. You are the inventor, so no other person should have the right to profit from your ideas. A patent prevents invention theft because of the stringent patent laws which are in place to protect you. Most manufacturers will not even negotiate with an inventor unless the idea is patented. A patent helps to ensure that any profit generated by your invention is exclusively yours. If another person profits from your patented idea without your consent, you have the right to pursue legal action against them. Without a patent, your chances of seeing any of that profit are greatly diminished. An invention which is legally protected by a patent can generate revenue for you through licensing. By licensing your invention to a manufacturer, you can receive a percentage of the profit generated, while leaving the expensive dirty work to the manufacturer. If another person receives profit from your patented invention without your consent, you may get a large settlement through patent litigation. A patent may or may not be enough legal protection for you. In addition to a patent, you may need a trademark.
A trademark ™ is a form of intellectual property protection which grants exclusive rights to its owner. A trademark is how your customers distinguish your company, services, or products from others. Legally protecting your mark with a trademark allows you exclusive rights to display the trademark. Trademarks ensure a level of protection for your ideas. A trademark protects your profitability by distinguishing you from your competitors. If another person profits from your trademarked image without your consent, you have the right to pursue legal action against them. Without a trademark, you could be losing potential profit to competitors. A trademark may or may not be enough legal protection for you. In addition to a trademark, you may need a patent.