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Intellectual Property (IP) includes ideas, innovations, methodologies, works of authorship (viz., literary and artistic works), emblems, brands, images, etc. This property is intangible since it is pertinent to the human intellect. Therefore, IP entities are indisputably vulnerable to infringements and modifications without the owner’s consent. IP protection regulations have been deployed and are still in practice, including patents, copyrights, contracts, trademarks, trade secrets, etc., to address these challenges. Unfortunately, these protections are insufficient to keep IP entities from being changed or stolen without permission. As for this, some IPs require hardware IP protection mechanisms, and others require software IP protection techniques. To secure these IPs, researchers have explored the domain of Intellectual Property Protection (IPP) using different approaches. In this paper, we discuss the existing IP rights and concurrent breakthroughs in the field of IPP research; provide discussions on hardware IP and software IP attacks and defense techniques; summarize different applications of IP protection; and lastly, identify the challenges and future research prospects in hardware and software IP security.


© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Shandong University. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

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High-Confidence Computing




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