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Intellectual Property

Intellectual property consists of tangible forms of creations of the mind. Ideas are not intellectual property. Inventions, written works, drawings, bred plants and industrial designs are. Like all forms of property, the ownership and rights associated with intellectual property are dictated by national laws and acts of federal governments.

Common forms of Intellectual Property are:

  • Patent; 
  • Copyright; 
  • Trademark; 
  • Trade secret; 
  • Industrial Design Patents. 

Some common features of all types of intellectual property are:

  • They allow for a business monopoly;
  • They are a right granted by a local government;
  • They may be co-owned. Co-owners each have equal rights;
  • Like physical property, they may be sold, given away, licensed or ignored;
  • The right granted requires the owner to protect it;
  • They must be defended to be of value. If another party infringes (or uses inappropriately) someone's intellectual property, the onus is on the owner to protect their rights;
  • Infringement may be stopped by court order; and,
  • Damages for infringement are generally awarded through the courts on the basis of lost revenues to the owner.

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