Intellectual Property (IP) Law Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Intellectual Property (IP) Law, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Intellectual Property (IP) Law?

“Area of the law that regulates the protection of trademarks, copyrights, and patents.

History and Meaning of Intellectual Property (IP) Law

Intellectual Property (IP) laws protect the creations of the mind and ensure that their creators can earn recognition and financial benefit from their ideas. The history of IP law can be traced back to the 15th century, when the first patents were granted in Venice, Italy. In the United States, the Constitution provides the foundation for IP law by granting Congress the power to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries. IP law has since evolved to balance the interests of rights holders and the general public by providing a legal framework for the protection of various kinds of intellectual property.

Examples of Intellectual Property (IP) Law

  1. An author seeking to protect their original literary works can register for a copyright.
  2. A company inventing a new technology can apply for a patent to secure exclusive rights to their invention.
  3. A designer can trademark their unique brand name or logo to distinguish their products from competitors.
  4. A musician can protect their performances by registering for a sound recording copyright.
  5. An artist can register a design patent to safeguard their new and original ornamental design for an article of manufacture.

Related Terms

  1. Trademarks: A symbol, word, or phrase used to identify and distinguish the goods and services of one business from another.
  2. Patents: A legal right granted to inventors to exclusively use and profit from their inventions for a set period of time.
  3. Copyrights: The exclusive legal right given to creators of original works, such as literature, music, film, or software, to benefit from their works for a certain amount of time.