This chapter examines the ongoing key role of intellectual property protection including the four major types of intellectual property protections: trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks and branding, and patents. Armed with these basics, it explores the role of intellectual property in practice as a key component in innovation and entrepreneurship. Trademarks distinguish your products and services from those of your competitors, and protect your investment in brand loyalty and goodwill. Trade secrets are protected under federal and state laws. Trade or business secrets, unlike published patents and copyrights, which are available for the world to see, derive their value from not being disclosed publically. A copyright is given automatically when someone puts a pen to paper or from the time the work is created in fixed form. Unlike a copyright, which only protects actual copying, patents can protect against commercial use of an idea and its functional equivalent. The three most common used patents are utility, design, and plant patents.