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Intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) is a number of disparate types of legal monopolies over creations of the mind, both artistic and commercial, and the corresponding fields of law. Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as musical, literary, and artistic works; ideas, discoveries and inventions; and words, phrases, symbols, and designs. Common types of intellectual property include copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and trade secrets in some jurisdictions.

The majority[which?] of intellectual property rights provide creators of original works a form of temporary monopoly with the aim of creating an economic incentive to develop and share ideas.

Although many of the legal principles governing intellectual property have evolved over centuries, it was not until the 19th century that the term intellectual property began to be used, and, it is said, not until the late 20th century that it became commonplace in the United States.

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