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Intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) is the description applied to those rights which relate to human creativity and inventiveness in a variety of contexts.

The main IP rights are:

  • copyright
  • design right
  • patents
  • trade marks
  • passing off

Each of these is linked to its own Glossary entry. There are a number of other IP rights, mostly derived from EU law. They include

  • Artist’s resale right – entitling the creator of an original artistic work to receive a royalty payment when the work is resold.
  • Database right – entitling the maker of a qualifying database to prevent unauthorised extraction or re-use of the data in it.
  • Performance rights – entitling those taking part in live and recorded performances of an artistic work to assert rights independently of the holders of the copyright etc in the work, eg to prevent unauthorised use of the performance and to ensure they get properly paid.
  • Plant breeder’s right – entitling the breeder of a new variety to control production, reproduction and trading of those plants.
  • Publication right – granting the publisher of a previously unpublished work, whose original copyright has expired, rights over the work similar to copyright.

There is lots of case law dealing with various examples of the use and abuse of intellectual property rights. ICLR tends to cover intellectual property in the Business Law Reports (Bus LR). The other specialist law report series dealing with it are the Reports of Patents Cases (RPC) and the Fleet Street Reports (FSR).