What is IP?

Frequently asked question about intellectual property

Using the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s definition – “Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and logos, names and images used in commerce.

IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.”

There are therefore, two aspects to IP:

  • i) the intangible creation of the mind; and
  • ii) the tangible property that arises from the creation that can be used, bought, sold or licenced.