Exclusive legal rights or privileges applied to inventions, plants, etc.
Property, such as patents, trademarks, and copyright, that results from creative effort. The Patent and Copyright Clause (Art. 1, Sec. 8, cl. 8) of the United States Constitution provides for promoting the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and inventors, the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries. (From Black's Law Dictionary, 5th ed, p1014)