Derivative Law and Legal Definition

The term “derivative” refers to something that is taken from another or relating to another. In relation to Copyright law, derivative means any work adapted from or developed from an earlier work.

With regard to acquisition, a derivative acquisition differs from an original acquisition. A derivative acquisition is an acquisition that is obtained or derived from another; whereas, in an original acquisition, an acquisition was never the property of another.

Derivative also refers to a financial instrument whose value is obtained from the performance of a secondary source such as a currency or an underlying commodity.