intellectual property rights

Definition

A right that is had by a person or by a company to have exclusive rights to use its own plans, ideas, or other intangible assets without the worry of competition, at least for a specific period of time. These rights can include copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. These rights may be enforced by a court via a lawsuit. The reasoning for intellectual property is to encourage innovation without the fear that a competitor will steal the idea and / or take the credit for it.

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