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Definition: IP

(1) (Internet Protocol) The communications technology used worldwide in local networks, wide area networks and the Internet. IP is technically the network layer in the TCP/IP protocol suite, which routes packets from one network to another. However, the term often implies the entire TCP/IP suite, which is responsible for transmitting data from one computer to another (for details, see TCP/IP). See Internet Protocol and IP network.

(2) (Internet Protocol address) The numeric address assigned to every laptop and desktop computer, server, router, smartphone and tablet in an IP network. The phrase "what's the IP?" means "what is the IP address currently assigned to the device?" See IP address.

(3) (Intellectual Property) The proprietary assets of an organization. In the computer field, hardware circuits, software and text are copyrightable. Depending on the situation, the algorithms used within hardware circuits and software may also be patentable, and brand names can be trademarked as long as they are not generic descriptions. However, IP covers more than just copyrights, patents and trademarks; for example, customer databases, mailing lists, trade secrets and other business information are also included.

(4) See IP Code, identity provider, intentional programming, image processing and IndustryPack.