A trademark is a legally registered symbol, word, phrase, or design that distinguishes and identifies the source of goods or services of one party from those of others. It serves as a form of intellectual property protection for brands, logos, and product names, ensuring that consumers can easily identify and differentiate products or services in the marketplace. Trademarks can be registered with governmental agencies, such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the U.S., to provide legal rights and protections against unauthorized use by others.

On the other hand, a patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a government to an inventor or assignee for a limited period in exchange for disclosing the details of the invention. A patent provides the inventor with the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, or importing the patented invention without permission. Patents can be granted for inventions, processes, methods, machines, or any new and useful improvement thereof. In many countries, patents are administered by governmental agencies, such as the USPTO in the U.S., and must meet certain criteria of novelty, usefulness, and non-obviousness to be granted.

Trademark and patent applications involve a formal process of submitting an application, paying associated fees, and meeting specific requirements set by the relevant governmental agencies. The application process typically includes conducting a comprehensive search to ensure that the proposed trademark or invention is not already in use or patented by another party. Once approved, trademarks and patents provide legal protection and exclusive rights to the owner, helping to safeguard their intellectual property and prevent infringement by others.