Proprietary Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Proprietary, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Proprietary?

refers to the exclusive ownership of a thing or act.

History and Meaning of Proprietary

The term "proprietary" has its roots in the Latin word "proprietarius," which means "owner." Today, the term is used to describe exclusive ownership or control over something, often relating to intellectual property or business assets. Proprietary information, for example, refers to confidential or secret information that is exclusive to a particular company.

Examples of Proprietary

  1. Coca-Cola's recipe is considered proprietary information, as it is a closely guarded secret that is exclusive to the company.
  2. Microsoft's Windows operating system is proprietary software, as it is owned and controlled by the company and cannot be freely modified or distributed.
  3. A patent is a form of proprietary right, as it grants exclusive ownership and control over an invention or idea to the patent holder.
  4. A business may have proprietary processes or techniques that give them a competitive advantage over others in their industry.
  5. A company may have a proprietary database or software system that is integral to their operations and not available to the public.

Legal Terms Similar to Proprietary

Some related legal terms to proprietary might include:

  1. Trademark: A symbol, design, or word that identifies and distinguishes a business's products from those of others.
  2. Copyright: A legal protection that gives the owner exclusive rights to their creative works, such as music, literature, and art.
  3. Trade secret: Confidential information that gives a business a competitive edge, such as a formula or recipe.