TRIPS agreement (applies to drugs after 1989) gives 20 year protection. Prior to that it was 16 years.
In many jurisdictions, pharmaceutical patents are elegible for patent term extension. For example, in USA, a patentee can get an extension of up to 5 years for a specific product o process (not the full scope of a claim) beyond the 20 year term for an FDA approved product. Variations on such extensions exist in many but not all jurisdictions.
A book written by an author is protected by copyright laws.
Drugs and other pharmaceuticals are protected under the patent laws not under the copyright laws.
Ideas that have been expressed in a tangible medium can be protected by copyright. Ideas for improving processes can be protected by patent law.
The first US patent was issued in 1790, the first Superintendent of Patents was recognized as separate from the Department of State in 1802, and the US Patent and Trademark Office was created by a revision of patent laws in 1836.
Software is protected by both patent and copyright laws. It's most apparent in preventing copying and distribution of protected applications, and is evident in the small print in EULAs.
Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation. They are protected by Patent & Trademark laws. Bear in mind however that the expression of those ideas, systems, etc may be protected by copyright.
...income for inventors and creators, as they are the only people/organizations that can sell the protected materials or license others to do so.
Under US patent laws and procedures, the USPTO can suspend an application for a patent for various reasons. However, after a patent is issued, a patent generally expires naturally, although (in theory) a federal court can order that certain unlawfully obtained portions (claims) can be cancelled, or that the termination date of a particular patent be changed to correspond to that of an earlier-filed application (effectively shortening the duration of the second patent).
Patent laws protect inventors from having their ideas or products stolen. To get an idea patent, you can contact a patent attorney in your area.
Intellectual property is protected by a variety of laws, broadly divided into copyright (protects creative works), patent (inventions), and trademark (logos, slogans, and other marks used in trade) laws.
Computer software is unique in that it is protected by patent and copyright. Copyright laws make duplication and distribution illegal, and patent law prevents other companies from using the code for their own programs.