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Copyright, Plagiarism and Intellectual Property: Intellectual Property

Definition

Intellectual property is any product of human intellect that is protected by law from unauthorized use by others.

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is any product of human intellect that is protected by law from unauthorized use by others. Intellectual property includes creative property such as writing, music, drawing, painting, photography and film. Laws protecting intellectual property falls into four different categories including copyright, patent, trademark, and trade secrets.

Copyright: Original creative works including paintings, writing, architecture, movies, software, photos, dance and music are protected by federal copyright law.

Patent: A patent allows a patent holder exclusive rights to making, using, importing and selling a patented innovation for a limited period of time.

Trademark: Brand names, logos slogans and other items that identify and distinguish products and services are protected under trademark law. Trademarks have different degrees of protection than copyrighted works.

Trade Secret: Trade secret laws protect sensitive business information. Examples would include a confidential marketing plan or the recipe for a brand of salsa.

Intellectual Property Resources