Owning a piece of intellectual property is not all too different from owning a house or lawnmower. If someone tries to take it, or damages it, or in some other way deprives you the use of it, you have options. Law enforcement and the court system are probably the best two options.
The same could be said for intellectual property, even though it more often exists as an intangible thing—an idea or concept that lacks physical substance. But they can but immensely valuable, and so they can be bought and sold—and stolen—like any other property.
There are 14 accepted types of intellectual property, but for our purposes in the biomedical realm, we mostly work with the main four: