Intellectual Property Definition & Meaning

Intellectual property (abbreviated IP) refers to anything created with original thought and belongs to the person who created it. Unlike physical property, destroying intellectual property doesn t extinguish the creator s ownership rights. The United States government works to protect intellectual property, especially in recent decades. Three common forms of intellectual property are copyright, patent, and trademark, all of which the government protects.

Copyright

Copyright protects creative work such as literature, music, visual art, and technology. Though it does not cover thoughts or ideas, it does cover any fixed expression of them, according to current United States copyright law. The work s creator retains the right to extend use to any third parties. Though copyright does eventually expire (and the works move into the public domain), current US law extends copyright protection for 70 years after the creator s death.

Pantent

Patents protect inventions, including machines, designs, softwares, or applications. Only patent users are permitted to use and sell their invention, unless they extend those rights to others. In that case, they must publish a document that states how their invention can legally be used.

Trademark

Trademarks are graphic or physical items designed to distinguish companies and brands. This also extends to specific marketing slogans. Trademarks help companies brand and market themselves more strongly and give customers better assurance. Trademarking also gives companies more financial stability.

Previous articleMinutiae
Next articleABC
Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps is a contributor for websites such as Webopedia.com and Enterprise Storage Forum. She writes about information technology security, networking, and data storage. Jenna lives in Nashville, TN.

Top Articles

Huge List Of Texting and Online Chat Abbreviations

From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top...

How To Create A Desktop Shortcut To A Website

This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Creating a desktop...

The History Of Windows Operating Systems

Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems. We look at the history of Microsoft's Windows operating systems (Windows OS) from 1985 to present...

Hotmail [Outlook] Email Accounts

  By Vangie Beal Hotmail is one of the first public webmail services that can be accessed from any web browser. Prior to Hotmail and its...

Legacy Code Definition &...

Legacy code refers to source code that has been inherited from a previous...

Unregulated Power Supply Definition...

An unregulated power supply is a system that transforms input voltage into direct...

Cybersecurity Awareness Training Definition...

Cybersecurity awareness training informs employees of the attack surfaces and vectors in their...