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Intellectual Property

A guide to understanding the different types of Intellectual Property (Copyright, Patents, Trademarks, Trade Secrets)

Intellectual Property (IP)

What are intellectual property rights?

Intellectual Property Rights, much like other human rights are not confined to international borders. They exist to protect the individual and group efforts of original creativity and unique scientific, artistic and technological developments and ensure the creators are able to receive the benefits of their work. In fact, IP is addressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Article 27.  The United States abides by all international IP laws as it is a member of the World Trade Organization and a participant in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual-Property Rights.

Please click the link to learn more about the global importance of Intellectual Property Rights. 


What Is Intellectual Property?

Definition - Intellectual Property

"Creations of the mind - creative works or ideas embodied in a form that can be shared or can enable others to recreate, emulate, or manufacture them. There are four ways to protect intellectual property - patents, trademarks, copyrights or trade secrets."

Glossary: USPTO. (n.d.). Retrieved November 22, 2019, from

Navigating IP Legal Documents


WIPO Lex is a global database that provides free-of-charge access to legal information on intellectual property (IP) such as treaties administered by WIPO, other IP-related treaties, and laws and regulations of the Member States of WIPO, the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.

Organizations that Assist with Protecting Intellectual Property