"Intellectual property" (IP) is a generic legal term for patents, copyrights, and trademarks, all of which provide legal rights to protect ideas, the expression of ideas, and the inventors of such ideas (1). Intellectual property has many of the characteristics of real property (houses, buildings, and so forth); intellectual property can be bought, sold, assigned, and licensed. Additionally, the owner of IP can prevent "trespass" on his property by others, though in IP this is referred to as infringement. A patent provides legal protection for a new invention, that is, an application of a new idea, discovery, or concept that is useful. Copyright provides legal protection from copying for any creative work (e.g., works of art, literature [fiction ornonfiction], music, lyrics, photographs), as well as business and scientific publications, computer software, and compilations of information. A trademark provides rights to use symbols, particular words, logos, or other markings that indicate the source of a product or service. A further method of benefitting from an invention is simply to keep it secret, rather than to disclose it; the most famous trade secret of all time is the formula for Coca-Cola, still a closely guarded secret to this day (2,3). Trade secrets have the advantage that they never expire, but special measures are required to ensure the continued secrecy, and should it be violated, there is little legal protection for the owner (2,3).