What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property (IP) is one of the most valuable things in the world. If there weren’t any patents and IPs around, we probably wouldn’t have most of the things that make our lives that much more exciting, easy, and automated. We rely heavily on technology, but most of the technology we have these days is made solely because IP’s and patents are a thing.

However, IPs aren’t strictly tied to technology. The music that makes us move, the tools we know, love, and use, and the movies we enjoy are all someone’s intellectual property.

In this article, we’ll talk a bit about intellectual property, define it’s most common threats, and provide some ways you can curb them.

Defining intellectual property

Intellectual property is most of the things around us that make our modern world go round fall into intellectual property. If someone has created something such as a product, strategy, or methodology – it’s their intellectual property. In more elaborate terms, intellectual property is everything that’s thought up and created by some person. There are four different kinds of IPs, which are:

  • Copyrights
  • Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Trade Secrets

All these are different, but what ties them together is that they’re all prone to many hazards. Intellectual property is often misused for the worse, directly harming the person or company that owns it in the first place.

Most common threats to intellectual property

Intellectual property is a valuable asset, and that’s why intellectual property protection is such a major thing. There are more than a few threats that promise to harm someone’s intellectual property, and we’ll talk about the most common ones below.

Copyright infringement

Copyright infringement is when someone violates your copyrights. It’s when someone uses your intellectual property without your permission, and it’s both morally wrong and highly illegal. It can be as benign as re-uploading your song and claiming it as their own, outright stealing your developments and products and making money off your design and ideas. 

Patent theft

Patents are a popular type of intellectual property, and patent theft has run for centuries now. We’re not even sure who invented most of the things we use daily because patent theft is such an issue.

Patent theft is a commission of your patent without approval, which means someone uses your patented product, idea, or solution for their own needs without giving you any credit or royalties.

Corporate espionage

Corporate espionage is not something you’ll only find in early 2000s spy movies – it’s a very real and harmful practice. When companies spy on one another to learn vital, valuable, and sensitive information on their competitors – and as the world of business is going digital, this practice is becoming more of an issue each day.

Trade secret theft

There are many trade secrets in all industries, and specific industry leaders have made their success by keeping their trade secrets, well, secret. Sometimes, trade secrets can be either sold off or ransomed to another company, directly harming your intellectual property and leeching off your success.

Ways you can protect your intellectual property

There are more than a couple of measures you can put in play if you want to protect your intellectual property as much as possible.

Don’t publish it

The first and most common way to protect your intellectual property is not to publish it. What makes WD40 such a special product is that no one knows what’s in it, and no one has been able to crack the recipe.

Coca Cola is another very popular example of this – if the recipe remains top secret, chances are no one will steal it.

That might be a bit challenging if you’re in the music or entertainment industry, but you can use the following tactic if you are.

Avoid joint ownership

Individuals worldwide are running their chances of keeping their IPs for themselves by having joint ownership of trademarks, patents, and copyrighted materials. As soon as there is more than one interest in play, your chances of IP infringement skyrocket.

Always keep your intellectual property to yourself as much as possible, as only then do you have the full control to stop anyone from misusing it for their malicious intent or greed.

Use proxies

Proxies might be one of the most efficient ways to protect your intellectual property in the digital age. Through proxies, you make your content as safe as possible, as you can throw hackers and malicious individuals off their track once they try to breach your data.

Proxies do wonders to protect your computer data and online browsing in many ways, and with so many proxies being around, it’s practically irresponsible not to use one if you want to protect your IP. These days, proxies are the cornerstone of intellectual property protection. Proxies also improve the web scraping process. With web scraping, various companies monitor the web for searching and detecting copyright infringements. This helps catch already done violations and prevents malicious entities from stealing intellectual property.


If you want to make sure that your intellectual property is adequately protected, there are more than a few measures you can take. In the digital day and age, it’s critical to secure not only your intellectual property but all of your data as well.

Remember, investing in these measures means investing in your privacy, safety, and the prosperity and performance of your intellectual property in the first place.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.