Intellectual property rights allow a party to acquire a legal monopoly on a particular intellectual creation as well as to obtain, as sole beneficiary, the right to commercialise, disseminate and/or protect this creation against ownership claims by third parties. In this sense, intellectual property rights form an exception to the principle of free trade.
Traditionally, intellectual property rights fall into two categories: industrial and artistic property rights.
Industrial property rights basically relate to matters involving a primarily economic interest. These property rights include patent rights, trademark rights, design and model rights, breeders’ rights and rights relating to the protection of geographical indications.
Artistic property rights are designed to protect matters involving a primarily artistic interest. The prime example of such rights is copyright, which can relate, for instance, to architectural plans, the design and construction of buildings, and obviously art in the broadest sense. Artistic property rights can range from literary works to film and photography, jewellery design, acting, software, database program codes, etc.