Intellectual Property

Imagine you have an invention you’ve created. You want to make sure that no one uses your invention without your permission. This is intellectual property law. It’s an area of property law that gives ownership rights to works or abstract ideas to creators. The reason for intellectual property law is to protect and continuously advance ideas. Would you write a book, invent medicine or household item if you knew someone else could use it without your permission and make money? That’s why intellectual property law is so important.

There are four areas of the law:

  • Trade secret
  • Copyright
  • Trademark
  • Patent

Trade Secret is probably the most intangible and least discussed type of intellectual property law. In this area of law you are forbidden to discuss business information that gives a competitor or person a competitive edge in the industry. This information can range from manufacturing methods to sales processes. Another hallmark of a trade secret is it’s not for public consumption. In other words, the public is not privy to the information.

An example of a trade secret is if you were going to launch a new marketing campaign. Your fired employee knows about the launch when he’s hired at your competitor’s company. Your former employee isn’t allowed to tell the new employer or public about your trade secrets. If he does tell the company or public, you can sue him.


Copyright is probably a well-known area of intellectual property law. It grants ownership of works such as writings or recordings to the author. Thus, another person or company can’t use, reproduce or distribute the original work. The author has sole ownership over how it’s used.


The purpose of trademark law is similar to copyright law because it grants ownership to the author. However, it’s the exclusive right to own and use a phrase or symbol connected to goods or services. For example, the swoosh symbol is trademarked by Nike. Thus, no other company or individual can use the symbol without Nike’s permission.

The basis of trademark law is not only to protect the author but the public too. If you purchase shoes with the swoosh symbol you believe you’re buying a Nike product. However, if another company uses the symbol you’re not getting the product you’re think you’re buying (Nike shoes).


In this branch of intellectual property the creator of an invention or process receives exclusive rights. The patent generally protects a new characteristic or practical use not being used or known to other experts. Like other areas of intellectual property law, patent seeks to encourage technological development and innovation. Therefore, someone else can’t use the invention as his or her own. There is a very good article that explains it all at

Intellectual property law sounds odd because it seems like it’s a “thinking law.” However, the area of law serves a dual purpose. It seeks to protect you from having someone or company using your invention or original works. In addition, intellectual property law seeks to encourage continuous innovation and inventions and you can read on a lot more useful tips.