• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Intellectual property, as distinguished from real property, refers to products of the mind (or intellect); it concerns those rights or entitlements that attach to intangibles such as artistic expressions and technological inventions. Protection is afforded to intellectual property to encourage development of ideas, expressions, and processes for commercial gain.

Types of Intellectual Property

There are various types of intellectual property. Distinctions are made according to the nature of the proprietary innovation. Four reasons are generally offered to justify the protection of intellectual property rights: (1) disclosure, (2) innovation, (3) product investment, and (4) design development.

Copyright

Intellectual property such as computer software, video games, songs, and movies is granted legal protection in the form of a copyright. A copyright is a set of exclusive legal rights accorded to the ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles