What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property, often known as IP, refers to creations of the mind: inventions (patents), literary and artistic works, symbols, names, images, designs used in commerce. The owner of intellectual property can control and be rewarded for its use, and this encourages further innovation and creativity to the benefit of us all.

Intellectual property is divided into two main categories:

However, IP is much broader than this extending to trade secrets, plant varieties, performers rights and so on. For an introduction to IP see: