What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property – or ‘IP’ – is anything that might be worth something, but where the valuable bit is more of an idea than a physical object. See our jargon buster.

A house is ‘property’, because there’s something physical there. The design for a house, on the other hand, is intellectual property because, even when it’s drawn out on blueprints, it’s the idea that’s valuable, not the paper it’s printed on.

Even once the house is built, the intellectual property still exists separately because it can be used to build more houses.

Intellectual property takes many forms, such as:

The world of IP includes scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs, designers, writers, artists, musicians, business people and lawyers – all working together to protect ideas, to release their potential, to help them make the world better.

Also take a look at:

What careers are there in ideas?

Getting a career in ideas

A career for anyone

Ideas people

Jargon buster