2.1 What is Intellectual Property (IP)?

IP is an innovation which is commercially useful or useful to society and protectable. IP is not necessarily technological and at universities may be created within any faculty.

IP may be protected against copying or other unfair use by competitors via a trade secret, copyright, or a legal registration (patent, trade mark or design registration).

From its initial creation, IP may require further development to qualify for legal registration. To be worth protecting legally, IP must be commercially useful, i.e. have potential to generate financial profit.

IP is an asset, meaning it has value and can be sold, licensed or traded. IP is an intangible (not physical) asset. For businesses, other intangible assets are market knowledge, staff expertise and customer goodwill. Tangible assets include real estate and equipment. In recent decades, IP has increased greatly as a percentage of global corporate assets.