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intellectual property

an invention, process, design, text, or other creation originating in a person’s or entity’s creativity; protected by a set of rights pertaining to three major categories: patents, copyrights, and trademarks. An automobile company’s intellectual property, for example, might include designs of cars and components, manufacturing processes, test data, and so on. Such intellectual property is often developed over long periods at great expense and can be immensely valuable.