intangible property
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Intangible property, also known as incorporeal property, is something that a
person A person (plural, : people) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of a culturally established form of social relations such as kinship, ownership of pr ...
or
corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law "born out of statute"; a legal person in legal ...
can have ownership of and can transfer ownership to another person or corporation, but has no physical substance, for example
brand identity A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that distinguishes one seller's good or service from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising for recognition and, importantly, to create an ...
or knowledge/
intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. There are many types of intellectual property, and some countries recognize more than others. The best-known types are patents, ...
. It generally refers to statutory creations, such as
copyright A copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to copy, distribute, adapt, display, and perform a creative work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, education ...
,
trademark A trademark (also written trade mark or trade-mark) is a type of intellectual property consisting of a recognizable sign (semiotics), sign, design, or expression (language), expression that identifies Good (economics and accounting), product ...
s, or
patent A patent is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of time in exchange for publishing an sufficiency of disclosure, enabling disclo ...
s. It excludes tangible property like
real property In English common law, real property, real estate, immovable property or, solely in the US and Canada, realty, is land which is the property of some person and all structures (also called Land improvement, improvements or Fixture (property ...
(land, buildings, and fixtures) and
personal property Personal property is property that is movable. In common law systems, personal property may also be called chattels or personalty. In civil law (legal system), civil law systems, personal property is often called movable property or movables— ...
(ships, automobiles, tools, etc.). In some
jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin 'law' + 'declaration') is the legal term for the legal authority granted to a legal entity to enact justice. In federations like the United States, areas of jurisdiction apply to local, state, and federal levels. Jur ...
s, intangible property are referred to as ''choses in action''. Intangible property is used in distinction to
tangible property In law, tangible property is literally anything that can be touched, and includes both real property and personal property (or moveable property), and stands in distinction to intangible property. In English law and some Commonwealth leg ...
. It is useful to note that there are two forms of intangible property: legal intangible property (which is discussed here) and competitive intangible property (which is the source from which legal intangible property is created but cannot be owned, extinguished, or transferred). Competitive intangible property disobeys the intellectual property test of voluntary
extinguishment In contract law, extinguishment is the destruction of a right or contract. Rawle, Francis; Bouvier, John. (1914) Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Bouvier's Law Dictionary and Concise Encyclopedia Extinguishment.' Pp. 1166-1167. 3rd revision (being the 8 ...
and therefore results in the sources that create intellectual property (knowledge in its source form, collaboration, process-engagement, etc.) escaping quantification. Generally, ownership of intangible property gives the owner a set of legally enforceable rights over reproduction of personal property containing certain content. For example, a copyright owner can control the reproduction of the work forming the copyright. However, the intangible property forms a set of rights separate from the tangible property that carries the rights. For example, the owner of a copyright can control the printing of books containing the content, but the book itself is personal property which can be bought and sold without concern over the rights of the copyright holder. In
English law English law is the common law list of national legal systems, legal system of England and Wales, comprising mainly English criminal law, criminal law and Civil law (common law), civil law, each branch having its own Courts of England and Wales, ...
and other Commonwealth legal systems, intangible property is traditionally divided in ''pure intangibles'' (such as debts, intellectual property rights and goodwill) and ''documentary intangibles'', which obtain their character through the medium of a document (such as a
bill of lading A bill of lading () (sometimes abbreviated as B/L or BOL) is a document issued by a common carrier, carrier (or their Law of agency, agent) to acknowledge receipt of good (economics), cargo for shipment. Although the term historically related on ...
,
promissory note A promissory note, sometimes referred to as a note payable, is a legal instrument (more particularly, a financing instrument and a debt instrument), in which one party (the ''maker'' or ''issuer'') promises in writing to pay a determinate sum of ...
or
bill of exchange A negotiable instrument is a document guaranteeing the payment of a specific amount of money, either on demand, or at a set time, whose payer is usually named on the document. More specifically, it is a document contemplated by or consisting of a ...
). The recent rise of
electronic document An electronic document is any electronic content (media), media content (other than computer programs or system files) that is intended to be used in either an electronic submission, electronic form or as printed output. Originally, any data (comp ...
s has blurred the distinction between pure intangibles and documentary intangibles.


Further reading

*


See also

* Important Intangible Cultural Properties (disambiguation) * Industrial property *
Intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. There are many types of intellectual property, and some countries recognize more than others. The best-known types are patents, ...
* '' Selig v. United States'' * Web property


References

{{Property navbox, state=expanded Property law Intellectual property law Common law legal terminology