Intellectual property is any creation of the human intellect and is regulated in Royal Legislative Decree 1/1996, of 12 April 1996, approving the revised text of the Intellectual Property Act. It concerns creations of the mind: the inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, names, images and drawings and models used in the market. Intellectual property comprises industrial property and authors' rights.
Works subject to intellectual property may be under a system of copyright, open access licenses, such as Creative Commons, or in the public domain.
Any form of intellectual property is brought to society through the use that is made of it, with royalties being paid to the corresponding authors or owners of the works so that, subsequently and after the period established by law, the creations become the cultural heritage of humanity. This exchange is derived from the fact that the authors owe the origin of their royalties to society.
The social function of the property allows private property law to be modulated according to higher social interests, which is what the UOC does, acquiring knowledge and returning this to society before the legally stipulated period has expired. It does this through the knowledge that it conveys to its students, through the marketing of the works that it commissions and through the subsequent dissemination of these works with open access licenses.