Intellectual Property

Often goes by the shorthand "IP". Intellectual Property means a company or person owns the rights to some kind of technology. For example, a new method of making silicon chips.

IP is protected by having a 'patent' which is a legal instrument declaring they have ownership over the idea / technology. Owning the patent to a technology means that no one can copy the idea unless the owner gives their permission. Patents are country specific, for example someone could apply for an 'UK' patent that protects their rights in the UK but would not protect them in the USA - unless they apply for a patent in that country as well. Getting a patent can be very expensive (lots of legal fees) and so the idea has to be worthwhile in the first place.

The owner usually gives permission once a financial deal is agreed. For example the 'licence holder' of the patent will pay 'Royalties' to the owner for every item sold.

Many companies make all their money by granting licences rather than making product themselves.

Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Intellectual Property


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