What Does Intellectual Property Mean?


Quick Answer

Intellectual property is any product of the human intellect that the law protects from unauthorized use by others, according to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School. Patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets are the four traditional categories of intellectual property.

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What Does Intellectual Property Mean?
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Full Answer

Intellectual property laws apply to nonrivalrous public goods, or goods that can be used by more than one person at a time without diminishing the value of the product, explains the Legal Information Institute. These laws ensure adequate financial compensation to authors and inventors by regulating the use of their work, thus providing an incentive to continue producing works and goods for the benefit of the public.

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