intellectual property


Definition of intellectual property

: property (such as an idea, invention, or process) that derives from the work of the mind or intellect also : an application, right, or registration relating to this

Examples of intellectual property in a Sentence

Any song that you write is your intellectual property.

Recent Examples on the Web

Few investors would take a risk on a new line of research -- and companies would be challenged to let their scientists work on improving existing medicines -- if intellectual property laws are weakened. Randall Rutta For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Lawmakers want to lower drug prices. Their plan would end up harming patients," 20 Aug. 2019 In exchange for the use of their intellectual property, manufacturers would stipulate that the weapons in the games be portrayed realistically and positively. Sidney Fussell, The Atlantic, "Why It’s So Hard to Stop Marketing Guns in Video Games," 19 Aug. 2019 Trump has alleged that China uses unfair trade practices, such as manipulating its currency, stealing U.S. intellectual property, and flooding global markets with cheap products, to gain an advantage over U.S. firms. Taylor Telford,, "Trump backpedals on China threats as trade deal shows signs of slipping away," 30 July 2019 Trump slapped tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods last year, launching a trade war over longstanding U.S. allegations of unfair economic practices, including the theft of U.S. intellectual property. Los Angeles Times, "Trump says Apple will face tariffs on Mac Pro parts made in China," 26 July 2019 Use of intellectual property law may be another point of difference. Michael Mccann,, "Kawhi Leonard vs. Nike: Analyzing the Raptors' Star's Logo Lawsuit," 4 June 2019 National security concerns continue over China's theft of U.S. intellectual property as well. Fox News, "Rep. Devin Nunes: Need to declassify Russia documents before election," 16 Sep. 2018 If the corporate conflict feels oddly personal, that's because it's rooted in a story deeper than intellectual property law. Emily Gaudette, Newsweek, "Is Bumble Better Than Tinder? Dating Apps Are Battling for the Single Woman's Soul," 20 Mar. 2018 Building and maintaining a society-wide intellectual-debt balance sheet would probably require refining our approach to trade secrets and other intellectual property. Jonathan Zittrain, The New Yorker, "The Hidden Costs of Automated Thinking," 23 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intellectual property.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of intellectual property

1769, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for intellectual property

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intellectual property

The first known use of intellectual property was in 1769

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More Definitions for intellectual property

intellectual property


English Language Learners Definition of intellectual property

law : something (such as an idea, invention, or process) that comes from a person's mind

intellectual property

Legal Definition of intellectual property

see property

More from Merriam-Webster on intellectual property

Britannica English: Translation of intellectual property for Arabic Speakers

Comments on intellectual property

What made you want to look up intellectual property? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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