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

With space so sensitive and missile technology so similar, these safeguards are meant to protect national security as well as American intellectual property. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Can the U.S. Save Alcantara, Brazil’s Cursed Spaceport?," 20 Mar. 2019 The two sides remain divided on a number of more challenging issues such as Beijing’s subsidies to domestic firms and better protection of American intellectual property. WSJ, "China’s Annual Trade Surplus With U.S. Hits Record Despite Trump’s Tariff Offensive," 13 Jan. 2019 Trump accuses China of unfair trade practices, such as subsidizing certain industries and ripping off American intellectual property. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Taxing oxygen? It could happen. President Trump threatens wide-ranging tariffs on China," 11 July 2018 General Inquiries: Please send general inquiries regarding intellectual property issues to FEEDBACK 2. Bloomberg, "Terms of Service," 8 July 2018 President Donald Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on as much as $150 billion in Chinese imports to punish Beijing for allegedly violating American intellectual property and unfair trade practices., "U.S. Puts Tariffs Against China ‘On Hold,’ Mnuchin Says," 20 May 2018 In 2003, Dan Sullivan, then a White House national-security staffer, was in the Oval Office when China’s vice premier promised President George W. Bush the country would fix intellectual property theft. Greg Ip, WSJ, "On China, Trump Risks Repeating Experience of Bush and Obama," 27 Feb. 2019 In the past week, the national legislature quietly amended a draft of the law to tighten up channels used to leak intellectual property. Chao Deng, WSJ, "China Aims to Placate U.S. With Law Banning Theft of Foreign Trade Secrets," 14 Mar. 2019 But also: People who don't know all of the intricate laws surrounding intellectual property often fudge the rules. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Why Does Every Tech Ad Use the Same Song? Because of This Man.," 26 Feb. 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

23 Apr 2019

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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).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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