Intellectual property (IP) is a legal concept that refers to creations of the
mind for which exclusive rights are recognized.
In its broadest sense, intel-
lectual property means the legal rights that result for intellectual activity in
the industrial, scientic, literary, and artistic elds, and protection against
On July 31, 1790, Samuel Hopkins was issued the rst patent for a pro-
cess of utilizing potash, an ingredient used in fertilizer, for soap making. The
patent was signed by President George Washington, by Secretary of State
Thomas Jefferson, as well as the Secretary of War and the Attorney General.
Hopkins was born in Vermont, but was living in Philadelphia, PA, when the
patent was granted and issued as shown in Figure10.1.
Under the international intellectual property law concept, owners are
granted certain exclusive time-limited rights (20 years from the ling date)
to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works;
technical discoveries and inventions; plus words, phrases, expressions, sym-
bols, designs, commercial names, and designations. It is your bank account
Familiarity with the concept of intellectual property can give you an edge
in today’s competitive environment. Legally recognized intellectual property
comes in several forms, as summarized in Table10.1.
A patent grants an inventor exclusive rights to make, use, sell, and
import an invention for a limited period of time (on June 8, 1995, the new