Essentials of Intellectual Property: Law, Economics, and Strategy

By Alexander I. Poltorak; Paul J. Lerner | Go to book overview

Preface:
Intellectual Property:
The Currency of the
New Economy

Intellectual property, also known simply as IP, has become one of the most talked about topics in business today, yet it is still one of the least understood. Simply stated, intellectual property consists of products of the human mind and creativity that are protected by law. It is an intangible, lacking physical substance. It has neither length nor width nor height. It has no weight and casts no shadow. It is colorless, odorless, and tasteless.

Like tangible property, intellectual property can be bought, sold, and rented. Also like tangible property, it can be lost or destroyed through carelessness or neglect. It is insurable and could be used as collateral. It may be the result of a momentary flash of inspiration or years of diligent and painstaking labor. It may be lost in a moment or continue in perpetuity.

Whatever its other characteristics, however, intellectual property does have economic value—often great economic value, although this value is often overlooked, underestimated, and underreported. In

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