Incorporeal Property Law & Legal Definition


Incorporeal property is a legal right in property having no physical existence. For example, patent rights, lease or mortgage. They have value but lacks physical substance. Under common law, incorporeal property was rights that affected a tangible item, such as a chose in action (a right to enforce a debt). Incorporeal is the opposite of corporeal, which is property that can be perceived. Incorporeal property is traditionally broken down into two classes: (1) jura in re aliena or encumbrances, over material or immaterial things, examples being leases, mortgages, and servitudes; and (2) jura in re propria or full ownership over an immaterial thing, examples being patents, copyrights, and trademarks.