Intellectual property rights are a set of legal protections that safeguard the creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, and symbols. These rights are granted to the creators of intellectual property to ensure that they can benefit from their work. Among these rights, patents are the most common type of intellectual property right that people think of when they consider the protection of intellectual property. A patent is used to prevent another party from creating, selling, or using an invention without permission. Lawyers specializing in intellectual property law complete the processes necessary to guarantee the highest available rights.
Although intangible, intellectual property can be much more valuable than a company's physical assets. It cannot appear on the balance sheet as an asset since there are no specific accounting principles to value each asset. To learn more about intellectual property law, one can talk to law school advisors or visit the American Intellectual Property Law Association. Additionally, state bar association websites have sections dedicated to intellectual property. The European Commission also publishes biennial reports on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) in third countries. Intellectual property can consist of many types of intangibles, such as trade secrets, plans for technology, and branding and marketing assets.
Trade secrets are the intellectual property of a company that is not public, has economic value, and contains information. Intellectual property owners often use more than one type of intellectual property law to protect their intangible assets. In order to generate value in intellectual property, large investments in intellectual resources and skilled labor time are necessary. First-year law courses introduce the basic concepts of legislation required for each sector of intellectual property law. The plans for technology, while not yet fully viable, constitute important intellectual property for Waymo.