Intellectual property includes inventions, art, and other works of “intellect.” Intellectual property can be protected under rights including but not limited to patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret.

The purpose of intellectual property law is to give the creator of the intellectual property a limited protectable ownership interest so that the creator can profit from the innovation without giving the creator a permanent monopoly on the innovation. Intellectual property laws have evolved to try to find the right balance to encourage innovation by protecting creators but also encourage the sharing of new ideas. Intellectual property rights are not uniform internationally.