Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Patent Definition:

An exclusive privilege granted to an inventor to make, use or sale an invention for a set number of years.

Related Terms: Double Patenting, Copyright, Intellectual Property, Point of NoveltyTest, Patentee, Industrial Design, Design Patent, Trademark, Invention, Trade Secret, Public Domain

Terrell's On The Law Of Patents offers this definition:

"The grant of a patent for an invention is the rant to the patentee for a limited period of a monopoly right in respect of that invention; i.e. the right to exclude others from using that invention."

Normally, no one company can retain a monopoly over a product or service because this is considered to economically harmful to society.

But as a financial incentive to potential inventors, the state grants a temporary but absolute monopoly, to that inventor through the issuance of a patent.

A person who is the registered owner of a patent can be referred to as a patentee.

Mouse trapThe European Union describes a patent as a legal right:

"A patent is a legal title which protects a technical invention for a limited period. It gives the owner the right to prevent others from exploiting the invention in the countries for which it has been granted. All patents are published, so everyone can benefit from the information they contain."

In the US, patent law is set out in the US Code, Title 35. At Chapter 10, ¶101 thereof:

"Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title."


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