Difference between a patent and a trademark

There are several differences between a patent and a trademark. There are three different types of patents. Utility patents which are for useful inventions. According to UPCounsel.com they may be approved for “Anyone who creates an entirely new machine, process, chemical compound, manufactured product, material composition, or method.” Plant patents are for asexually reproducible plants, which means the plant is a new invention that was not bred from seeds. Lastly, design patents are for non-functional design elements (Patent Law). A trademark is used for protecting some visual element that is specific to a brand and identifies to the consumer that the product is from said brand for example, the McDonalds “Golden Arches” (Patent Law). In either the case of a patent or trademark their needs to be a certain degree of uniqueness to the item or design that is to be protected. Protection is not given for generic items and there have been cases of things losing protection because the item became generic such as a zipper (Patent Law).


I do believe that companies should be able to patent new plants that they create because even though it may happen accidentally, often times it takes a lot of research, trial and error, and funds for a new plant to be created. I do not believe that companies should be able to patent life forms that are sentient because to me that feels like it encroaches the area of unethical. I do understand that the ethics of creating new life, or new species, is completely subjective but from my point of view allowing these things to be patented would encourage more companies to attempt to create new animal life forms or breeds which I do not think should be a profitable goal.