Intellectual property is a term that refers to actual intellectual works or creations of the mind - and to an area of law that protects the monopolistic rights of the creator to control those works. Intellectual property can be written or artistic works, musical compositions, inventions, and names or symbols that are used for business. It can include things like physical property via patents or written words and designs via copyright and trademarks.
Intellectual property rights help the creative person maintain control over his or her ideas and creations. It also helps him/her profit by giving them exclusive control over the use of their intellectual property. It offers an incentive to persons to make the effort to be creative and inventive. If their unique ideas can be stolen immediately and sold by others, it would reduce the value of that property for the creator.
Intangible Intellectual Property
Intellectual property is, for the most part, intangible as opposed to real property such as a vehicle or building. Music, art, literature, poetry, sculpture, designs, particular words or symbols and inventions can all be protected by intellectual property rights. These rights can be claimed by filing copyrights, patents, trade secrets, trademarks or industrial design rights applications. Some patents give the designer sole control for a limited period of time, such as fifteen years. This is considered sufficient time for the creator to enjoy the benefits of their creation.