The object of IP is to protect a work that has only an abstract existence and therefore cannot be perceived by the senses, unlike a building or a car. However, like material goods, intellectual creations may be subject to a property right.
It is necessary to distinguish between two concepts when speaking about IP.
Moral right This grants the author paternity of the intellectual creation and protects the personal and reputational value of a work, as opposed to its purely monetary value. Moral right is especially important under copyright law since the author has the right to decide whether they want to disclose the work to the public. They can set the conditions of its commercial exploitation and defend its integrity. As the author is deemed to have the moral right to control their creation, moral right relates to the connection between an author and their creation.
Economic right This relates to a creation’s commercial value and grants the author a monopoly to exclusively exploit their creation for a certain period. This fosters industrial and commercial relations as well as creativity. Under this monopoly, right holders can prevent third parties from using, manufacturing and selling the creation without authorisation. If rights are infringed the author can take legal action against unlawful use of their literary, artistic or industrial creations.