Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic
works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce. IP is protected in law by, for
example, patents, copyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial
benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of
innovators and the wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which
creativity and innovation can flourish
Copyright (or author’s right) is a legal term used to describe the rights that creators have over their
literary and artistic works. Works covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings,
sculpture, and films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps, and technical
What can be protected using copyright?
Exhaustive lists of works covered by copyright are usually not to be found in legislation. Nonetheless,
broadly speaking, works commonly protected by copyright throughout the world include:
Literary works such as novels, poems, plays, reference works, and newspaper articles;
Computer programs, databases;
Films, musical compositions, and choreography;
Artistic works such as paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculpture;
Advertisements, maps, and technical drawings.
Copyright protection extends only to expressions, and not to ideas, procedures, and methods of
operation or mathematical concepts as such. Copyright may or may not be available for a number of
objects such as titles, slogans, or logos, depending on whether they contain sufficient authorship.