As intellectual property is an intangible, its identification and protection under legal process provides peculiar problems. Presently, intellectual property is protected primarily by statutory provisions, as the methods provided by common law have inherent frailty. For exemplary purposes, this exposition will be concerned solely with the problems arising from the domain of invention and discovery and the application of the provisions of the patent laws.
Richard G. Smith, Statutory Protection of Intellectual Property Rights, 9 Clev.-Marshall L. Rev. 11 (1960)