Friday, August 14, 2009

FAQ - 16 What is intellectual property

Question: ?

Answer: Intellectual property refers to the rights one has in the product of one's intellect. This includes copyright (rights in creative expression)and patents (rights in inventions, discoveries, methods, compositions of matter, etc.) which are granted by article I, section 8 clause 8 of the US Constitution which gives Congress the power to "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."

Related rights include trademark (rights in the names one uses to identify one's goods and services), trade secret (confidential business practices), unfair trade practice, passing off, trade libel, false advertising, misappropriation. Laws protecting most of these rights exist at both the state and federal level. "Proprietary rights" is just a general term meaning "one's own rights."


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