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.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

Top Articles

The Complete List of 1500+ Common Text Abbreviations & Acronyms

Text Abbreviations reviewed by Web Webster   From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 SMS, online chat, and text abbreviations to help you translate and understand...

How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

Website Shortcut on Your Desktop reviewed by Web Webster   This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a website shortcut on your desktop using...

Windows Operating System History & Versions

The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

First to Fifth Generations of Computers

Reviewed by Web Webster   Learn about each of the 5 generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that...

Hackerspace Definition & Meaning

What is a hackerspace? A hackerspace, also known as a hacklab, incubator, or hackspace,...

Random Access Memory (RAM)...

Random Access Memory (RAM) reviewed by Web Webster   Random Access Memory (RAM) is a...

OEM – original equipment...

OEM - Original Equipment Manufacturer reviewed by Web Webster OEM (pronounced as separate letters)...