When people hear the term “intellectual property,” they probably think of creative content like books or well-known inventions. Such a definition is true but ultimately simplistic. Intellectual property, or IP, can take many forms and influence our world in many ways.
Look around anywhere you go and you will probably see some form of IP: logos, books, movies, music, machines, and more. Often, one person’s intellectual property gives way to innovations in many fields. For example, the printing press dates back to 1440 A.D. and has influenced modern methods of disseminating printed information such as newspapers and publishing. Intellectual property also grants us greater public knowledge. In return for legal protection of IP, the patent holder or other owner shares discoveries, advances in technology, or creative material with the public.
The benefits of intellectual property protect not only the creator, but consumers as well. Customers who shop for certain products often choose those items because they favor a particular brand. Trademarked brands guarantee that consumers actually receive the quality or characteristics that they associate with the brand.
About the Author
The eDiscovery Counsel and General Counsel for Complete Discovery Service, Matthew Knouff brings many years of experience in intellectual property law, technology law, and electronic discovery to his company.