Why we need intellectual property (IP)
Intellectual property is at the heart of all modern businesses and innovation. This quick FAQ explains why we need intellectual property.
Disclaimer: This FAQ should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only. You are urged to consult your own solicitor on any specific legal questions you may have.
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by Dr Martin Douglas Hendry
Why do we need IP?
What is IP?
Intellectual property (or IP) is a term used to refer to creations of the mind which can be protected by law.
This includes things such as goodwill in businesses, inventions, creative works, and more.
Is IP Protection Worldwide?
IP laws differ from country to country. But most countries now have legal frameworks.
IP law is governed at several levels, from national, to international and global.
What is the purpose of IP?
The purpose of IP is to incentivize innovation. This rewards those that create intangible assets with financial incentives.
The laws seek to balance these incentives with the public good.
Protection that is too strong may limit the benefit of new innovations to the public.
Incentives that are too weak may lack "carrot on the stick" to encourage businesses to chase new ideas.
Examples of IP in the real world
In today's world, much of the value produced by businesses is intellectual property.
This can include things such as:
- Creative assets (music, videos, data, writing, code and more)</li
- Methods, insight, and expertise
The value of today's leading businesses such as Apple, Tesla and Uber - is now driven by IP.
For more IP answers, review our FAQ section here.
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