Intellectual property rights are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creation for a certain period of time. Intellectual property is a broad categorical description for the set of intangible assets owned and legally protected by a company from outside use or implementation without consent. An intangible asset is a non-physical asset that a company owns.
The social purpose is to provide protection for the results of investment in the development of new technology, thus giving the incentive and means to finance research and development activities.