Intellectual property (IP) is a cluster of legally recognised rights associated with innovation and creativity – the works of the mind, as against physical products, land and other tangible resources. Even though it is intangible, intellectual property is often recognised as personal property, to be sold and traded like other forms of property.
Intellectual Property is divided into two categories:
- Industrial property, which includes inventions such as patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source, and
- Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs.
Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programmes.
Legal protection is necessary to prevent others from making unauthorised use of the intellectual property to the detriment of the true owner, and to ensure that the true owner will enjoy the full commercial benefit of his or her creative efforts.