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.


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 ...

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