If you own something, especially something of value, then you have proprietary rights. The word is most often used in relation to new inventions or patents.

Proprietary refers to property: things that are owned by individuals or businesses. People talk about proprietary drugs, proprietary software, and other things that can only be made and sold by those who discovered or created them. A proprietary claim is usually protected by trademark or copyright. When you say you have a proprietary right to something you're saying to everyone else: "Hands off! This is mine." Years ago, owners of small mom-and-pop stores were known as proprietors.

Definitions of proprietary
  1. adjective
    protected by trademark or patent or copyright; made or produced or distributed by one having exclusive rights
    “`Tylenol' is a proprietary drug of which `acetaminophen' is the generic form”
    (of goods and merchandise) marked or labeled by a distinctive word or symbol indicating exclusive rights
    (of literary or musical or dramatic or artistic work) protected by copyright
    (of devices and processes) protected by patent
    (of goods and merchandise) labeled with proprietary (and legally registered) identification guaranteeing exclusive use
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    not protected by trademark or patent or copyright
    (of drugs) not protected by trademark
    (of devices and processes) not protected by patent
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  2. adjective
    relating to ownership or an owner
  3. adjective
    behaving in a way that is characteristic of an owner
  4. noun
    an unincorporated business owned by a single person who is responsible for its liabilities and entitled to its profits
    synonyms: proprietorship
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    type of:
    the relation of an owner to the thing possessed; possession with the right to transfer possession to others
Word Family

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