What is Intellectual Property?

28 March 2017

Intellectual property ("IP") is the legal protection of intellectual assets.  It is the collective name for the bundle of rights that prevent unauthorized exploitation of intellectual assets. Examples include:
Each of those rights operates in a different way. 

Patents, for example, create monopolies of the making, disposal, marketing, use, importation or possession of specified products or of the use of patented processes including the marketing. disposal, importation, use or possession of products obtained directly from such processes. Such monopolies may be infringed by making, importing, marketing, distributing or using a patented product or a patented process even if the infringer was unaware of the patent or believed reasonably that his product fell outside its specification.

Copyrights, on the other hand, prohibit copying, publishing, renting, lending, communicating or adapting works in which copyright subsists but they do not prevent the making, marketing or distribution of similar works so long as there is no copying of, or reference to, such works.

Some rights require registration with the British, European Union or some other intellectual property office. Others arise spontaneously when certain conditions exist.

Further Reading

Jane Lambert   What are intellectual assets?   28 March 2017


Jane Lambert   IP Glossary                                  29 Jan     2017

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