What is Intellectual Property?

Posted on Posted in FAQs

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) defines intellectual property as “creations of the mind,” a broad definition that includes the following:

  • literary, artistic and scientific works;
  • performances of performing artists, phonograms, and broadcasts;
  • inventions in all fields of human endeavor;
  • scientific discoveries;
  • industrial designs;
  • trademarks, service marks, and commercial names and designations;
  • protection against unfair competition;
  • and all other rights resulting from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary or artistic fields.


Creators may wish to legally protect their creations. Some examples of intellectual property protections include:

  • COPYRIGHTS: protections for original works in fixed mediums, like books, drawings, paintings, films, and even blog posts;
  • TRADEMARKS: symbols that identify and distinguish the source of a product;
  • PATENTS: issued to protect the rights to new inventions for a limited time; and
  • TRADE SECRETS: include formulas, programs, or processes that are not publicly known, and which businesses use to gain economic advantage over their competitors.


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