Something proprietary is something exclusively owned by someone, often with connotations that it is exclusive and cannot be used by other parties without negotiations. It may specifically mean that something is covered by one or more patents, as in proprietary technology.

Table of contents
1 Etymology
2 Proprietary software
3 Related Topics:
4 See also


The word proprietary comes from the French proprietaire, from the Latin proprietarius. Compare with the Latin proprietas, property, and proprius, owned.

Proprietary software

Closed-source material is proprietary software which means, fundamentally, that you don't control what it does and for users it means they cannot study the source code, or edit it. This is according to Richard Stallman, who is the leading figure in the promotion of free software projects such as GNU.

Proprietary software is currently the most globalised industry. For example Microsoft and Windows which dominate their markets around the world.

Related Topics:

See also