Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. IP encompasses patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. IP is a legal concept that gives owners certain exclusive rights to their creations.
Patents are granted for new and useful inventions or processes. A patent gives its owner the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling the invention for a limited time period.
Copyrights protect original works of authorship, such as books, movies, music, and artwork. Copyright law gives creators the exclusive right to control how their works are used and reproduced.
Trademarks are used to identify products or services and distinguish them from those of other companies. Trademarks can be words, phrases, logos, or other symbols. Trade secret law protects information that has commercial value because it is not generally known to others.