It concerns creations related to industry and commerce, i.e., inventions and utilitarian works. It can also be divided into two categories:
- Rights concerning distinctive signs: this includes trademarks (to distinguish a company’s products and services, see our sections on trademark law), geographical indications (to identify the origin of a product in relation to its quality and location), company names, trade names and signs (to distinguish a company) and domain names (to distinguish a person’s or company’s website). Their specific purpose is to protect competition and consumers while conferring a limited monopoly to the right holder.
- Rights concerning innovations: these include patents (for inventions, see our “What is a patent? ” article), plant variety rights (for new varieties of a plant), designs for aesthetic and ornamental innovation of a product (see our “General information on designs” article), ), trade secrets, semiconductor topographies (to protect the design of electrical chips, a semiconductor or microprocessor product).