What is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property is the legal definition for ideas, inventions, artistic works, and other commercially viable products created out of one’s own mental process. Intellectual property is protected by legal agreements such as patents, copyrights, and trademark registrations. Intellectual property is considered similar to physical property under the law in that it can be legally sold, exchanged, traded, or abandoned.
Not all ideas are considered intellectual property under the law. Commercial viability is a factor that must be present to establish intellectual property and establish proper protections for such property. Inventors and those in creative fields should protect their commercially viable ideas through the official registration of their ideas and trade secrets.
Theft of Trade Secrets
A trade secret is a piece of information used in business that is an ingredient of a product. This does not necessarily mean that it is a food or drink secret. A trade secret can be used in any business or product. It can be used to make a product or be a part of marketing and sales methods. A trade secret is information that is not available to the public. A trade secret is considered intellectual property.
When a trade secret is violated, it is said to be “misappropriated” or stolen. Generally, a business must prove three things when alleging theft of trade secret:
- It did, in fact, own the trade secret.
- The other party wrongfully took the trade secret.
- The party who stole the trade secret used that trade secret to its advantage.
Trade secrets are generally considered rights created by common law, so they are not protected by the same intellectual property laws that govern things like patents and trademarks.
Contact an Intellectual Property Attorney
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