Tangible assets like a house, jewellery, money, investments, car etc are not the only kinds of property that one can own and claim protection under the law. There are other kinds of property too which are recognized by law and safeguarded within the legal provisions and these are termed intellectual property, which can be secured against exploitation by others. Patents, trademarks and copyrights are the three main categories of intellectual property.
Copyrights are intellectual property pertaining to rights of the creator over his or her original piece of work. It includes not just original writing pieces but also other types of artistic expression like music, videos, films etc. It provides the owners with a number of rights including economic and moral rights in addition to the right of being acknowledged as the owner of the piece.
Trademarks bestow intellectual property privileges which aim at pre-empting duplication and exploitation of symbols registered by a person for his own products, and they help a customer easily identify the source of a product. They protect the trademark owners from being economically exploited by counterfeiters.
The final intellectual property right is a patent, which is bestowed upon inventors to safeguard their original and beneficial creations and inventions. Patents are valid for a predetermined period within which the holder can enforce his exclusive right to sale and other commercial use of his invention.
There are some other intellectual property rights too which are rarely enforced and used. Understanding passed on from generation to generation in a particular sect; exclusive and secret components or recipes which go into creating successful products like Coca Cola; and location based descriptions, which denote certain products like Champagne, are some examples of this type of intellectual property.
Though these forms of intellectual property are separate from each other there are some similarities between the three. All three are recognized by law in a manner that enables the holders of the property to take legal action against the violator and get compensation for infringement.