IP Draughts takes the view that patents, copyright, trade marks, etc are examples of property. The rights of an owner of such property, such as the right to sue infringers, are property rights. Contractual definitions of IP are usually just that – definitions of IP and not of IPR. For example, this is a general definition taken from a licence agreement:
“Intellectual Property” means any and all patents, utility models, registered designs, unregistered design rights, trade marks, copyright, database rights, rights in respect of confidential information, extension of the terms of any such rights (including supplementary protection certificates), and applications for and the right to apply for any of the foregoing.
However, we have seen definitions that (confusingly, in our view) define IP as inventions, discoveries, works, and the like, and IPR as the legal instruments protecting those developments, eg patents, copyright and so on.
Leaving aside technical definitions in contracts, either term (IP or IPR) could be right, depending on the context. But which do you prefer to use when speaking generally – IP or IPR?
To help you decide, here are some links to places where each term is used.
This WIPO discussion of types of IP starts off by referring to intellectual property but then moves on to a discussion of intellectual property rights, mainly when considering copyright and similar “rights”.
We are interested to know what our readers think. Please vote in our poll and leave your comments below .