What do the Muslim fuqaha’ say about intellectual property rights such as trade names, trademarks, copyright and patents?
Trade names, trademarks, copyright and patents are all rights which belong exclusively to their owners. In modern times they have come to have a considerable financial value. These rights are recognized according to sharee’ah, and they should not be violated.
It is permissible to buy or sell a trade name or a trademark, and to transfer any of them in return for monetary compensation, so long as there is no cheating or deception.
Copyright and patents are protected by sharee’ah. Their owners have the right to buy or sell them and nobody has the right to violate these rights. And Allaah knows best.
Qaraar Majlis al-Fiqh al-Islami al-Khaamis, 1409 AH