Intangible goods

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With incorporeal is in law a non-physical object in the sense of an intangible, intellectual Guts referred, for example, a work of art or a technical invention .

Like their physical equivalents, things , intellectual property also exists outside of the legal system .


The concept of “intangible property” for intangible objects is, like the concept of “thing” for physical objects, a normative legal concept . Because the legal system legally assigns it to a specific person, for example a literary text to the author in the form of copyright , it becomes a legal object .

Its possible embodiment is to be strictly separated from the intangible. The pages on which the literary text is legibly recorded are only the physical carrier of the spiritual creation "novel". Only the novel as such, i.e. the actual work , is the intangible asset and exists independently of the paper book pages.

The recognized on intellectual property by the legal rights as the patent - or copyright , the term of the intellectual property summarized. The area of ​​law that regulates the legal relationships to intellectual property is referred to as intellectual property law.

Principles of intellectual property law

In contrast to physical objects, intellectual property is not tangible and therefore particularly vulnerable and in need of protection. The following special features apply:

  • The intellectual property rights are finally regulated by law (so-called numerus clausus of intellectual property law).
  • Their validity is basically limited to the territory of a state (territoriality or protection country principle ).
  • The older law prevails over the younger law ( principle of priority ).
  • The intellectual property rights generally arise through a formal process, for example the registration at the German Patent and Trademark Office (exceptions: copyright, usage mark, business names, unregistered community design).
  • They grant the respective owner an absolute legal position which entitles them to exclude third parties from using the right (principle of exclusivity ).
  • Intellectual property rights are limited in time (exception: trademark law) ( § 64 UrhG , § 16 PatG , § 47 MarkenG ) and freely transferable (exception: community trademark ).
  • The intellectual property rights as special protection rights restrict the freedom of imitation .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Karl Larenz , Manfred Wolf : General part of civil law . 9th edition. 2004, § 15 No. 8 ff .
  2. ^ Mathias Habersack : Property law . 7th edition. 2012, ISBN 978-3-8114-9874-7 , § 1 No. 6 .
  3. Malte Stieper : Justification, legal nature and availability of the barriers of copyright . 1st edition. 2010, ISBN 978-3-16-150177-7 , pp. 76 .
  4. Bernhard Oberholzer: Basics of intellectual property and competition law . (PDF) 2nd, revised edition; accessed on January 18, 2016
  5. Hans-Jürgen Ruhl: Introduction to commercial legal protection . Chamber of Commerce and Industry Frankfurt am Main; accessed on January 17, 2016