Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and International Trade [Updated March 13, 2019] [open pdf - 531KB]
From the Document: "What is intellectual property (IP), and how is it protected? IP is a creation of the mind embodied in physical and digital objects. Intellectual property rights (IPR) are legal, private, enforceable rights that governments grant to inventors and artists. IPR generally provide timelimited monopolies to right holders to use, commercialize, and market their creations and to prevent others from doing the same without their permission (acts referred to as infringements). IPR are intended to encourage innovation and creative output. After these rights expire, other inventors, artists, and society at large can build on them."
CRS In Focus, IF10033
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/