Definition: intellectual property
Intellectual property refers to 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, intellectual property (IP) covers more than just copyrights, patents and trademarks; for example, customer databases, mailing lists, trade secrets and other business information are also included.