By Shalisha Samuel
Caribbean News Now, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
What is intellectual property (IP)?
IP is an idea that has been transformed into sight, touch, sound and even smell which, when protected under law, grants exclusive rights to the creator/owner.
The painting in your head is simply an idea; the painting on a canvas may be your personal property, but like any other personal property, it can be taken/used without your permission. The painting on canvas, once exclusive rights are granted, is your intellectual property. Intellectual property grants legal ownership of intangible assets.
“Intellectual” because it is the creation of your intellect and “property” because it legally belongs to the creator/owner. In our knowledge-driven society, IP is intangible assets that are highly valued, while tangible assets such as machinery rapidly devalue over time. The first generation iPod has a low selling rate, but ownership in the iPod trademark has a high value.
The below beehive graph lists a number of IP categories. A product/service can attain protection in one or more of these areas. The length of protection varies according to the type of protection. Always bear in mind that these rights also vary according to jurisdiction, therefore, due diligence and research is paramount on your part as a business owner exploring new markets.