What is IP?

IP stands for “intellectual property”.

Patents, trademarks, copyright, industrial designs and similar intangible rights that are created by law are called “intellectual property” rights, or IP for short. Most countries permit registration of these rights and grant limited monopolies once these rights are registered. IP professionals secure and enforce these rights on a country or regional basis.

The word “intellectual” is used to describe these rights of property as they originate through creativity, and protect creative subject matter. Patents protect inventions. Trademarks protect brand names and logos. Copyrights protect artistic, musical, literary, and other creativity. Design rights protect the visual appearance of objects. In addition to these four main areas, there are other types of IP that arise through government registrations or through operation of law.