pat·ent 1 /'pat-ənt3 also'pāt-/ adj [Anglo-French, from Latin patent- patens, from present participle of patēre to be open]
1 a: open to public inspection see also letters patent at letter 2
b: secured or protected by a patent
a nonexclusive patent license to produce and sell the product
sought to enforce her patent rights against infringement
2: of, relating to, or concerned with the granting of patents esp. for inventions
a patent lawyer
involved in patent litigation
3: readily seen, discovered, or understood
a patent defect
if no bad faith or abuse is patent compare latent
pat·ent·ly adv
pat·ent 2 /'pat-ənt/ n
1: an official document conferring a right or privilege: letters patent at letter 2
2 a: the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention or products made by an invented process that is granted to an inventor and his or her heirs or assigns for a term of years see also intellectual property at property compare copyright, trademark
◇ A patent may be granted for a process, act, or method that is new, useful, and not obvious, for a new use of a known process, machine, or composition of matter or material, as well as for an asexually reproduced distinct and new variety of plant (excluding one propagated from a tuber), and for any new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. Design patents are issued for a term of 14 years. Patents issuing on applications made after June 8, 1995, for basic or plant patents (excluding design patents) are for a term of 20 years from the date of application. An inventor can file a provisional patent application, which requires less documentation and lower fees than a regular application, before reducing the invention to practice. This allows the inventor to claim “patent pending” status for the invention and to establish an earlier filing date and priority of the invention. A regular patent application must be made within a year of the provisional application or it will expire. Patents are considered personal property and may be sold, assigned, or otherwise transferred. Under common law, if a patented invention or discovery is made while the inventor is working for a company, and is made on company time with company facilities and materials, the employer receives an irrevocable, nonassignable, nonexclusive, royalty-free license to use it. Often an employee is required contractually to assign his or her patent to the employer.
b: the writing securing such a right
received his patent in the mail
c: a patented invention
all substantial rights to a patentInternal Revenue Code
3: an instrument making a conveyance of public lands
to issue a patent to each of said Indians for the village or town lot occupied by himU.S. Code see also fee patent at fee 1
pat·ent 3 vt: to obtain or grant a right to (something) by a patent
the land was patent ed to the railroad; specif: to protect the rights to (an invention) by a patent
printed matter cannot be patent ed

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I adjective apertus, apparent, clarus, clear, conspicuous, disclosed, discoverable, easy to be seen, evident, exposed, exposed to view, free to all, glaring, in full view, in view, individual, manifest, manifestus, noticeable, observable, obvious, open, ostensible, overt, perceivable, perceptible, perspicuous, plain, plain to be seen, prominent, public, published, revealed, standing out, uncamouflaged, unconcealed, undisguised, unhidden, unmasked, unobstructed, unshaded, unusual, visible, wide-open associated concepts: patent ambiguity, patent danger, patent defect, patent error II noun certificate of invention, diplomatis, exclusive license, exclusive privilege, exclusive right, exclusive title, governmental grant, grant, grant of authority, legal right, license, permit, privilege, right, right to profits accruing, use and title associated concepts: assignment of a patent, infringement of a patent, patent license, patent right III index apparent (perceptible), appreciable, blatant (conspicuous), charter (license), clear (apparent), comprehensible, conspicuous, evident, explicit, lucid, manifest, naked (perceptible), obvious, open (in sight), ostensible, overt, palpable, pellucid, perceivable, perceptible, permit, unmistakable

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

A patent is granted under the Patents Act 1977 by the Patent Office to the owner or owners of an invention (the patentee) which is novel, inventive and capable of industrial application. It can cover machines, products and processes. It gives the owner the exclusive right for 20 years from application to make, use, sell, import or licence the invention that is the subject of the patent.

Easyform Glossary of Law Terms. — UK law terms.

(1) An exclusive right granted by the government to manufacture and sell an invention for a specified period of time.
(2) A document granting land from a government to a person.
To obtain a patent for an invention.
Obvious; readily apparent.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

open. Used as a verb, to patent an invention is to register that invention with the Patent Office, making it open to others but securing the exclusive right to make and sell that invention for a period of years. Used as a noun, the registration itself is called a patent and can be bought and sold. See intellectual property.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

A grant by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that allows the patent owner to maintain a monopoly for a limited period of time on the use and development of a new innovation. The USPTO grants three types of patents: utility patents for useful, new, inventions that are not obvious to those in the field; design patents for new and original designs that ornament a manufactured product; and plant patents for new, asexually or sexually reproducible plants.
Category: Patent, Copyright & Trademark → Patent Law

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

An intellectual property right which permits the inventor to stop third parties from using the invention. Patent protection does not arise automatically and the filing of an application for a patent, followed by its grant, is necessary in order to obtain protection. In the UK a patent may only be granted in respect of an invention if:
• The invention is new;
• It involves an inventive step;
• It is capable of industrial application; and
• It is not specifically excluded from protection as a patent (section 1, Patents Act 1977).
+ patent
A form of intellectual property, generally comprising an exclusive right to commercially exploit an invention. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), under authority of the federal Patent Act, grants utility, plant and design patents, each applicable to different subject matter and subject to rigorous application and examination procedures.
Utility patents, the most common type, protect inventions (including certain processes, methods and "compositions of matter" in addition to devices and machines) that are deemed "useful," "novel" and "non-obvious." The owner(s) of a utility patent (the inventor(s) or an assignee) has the right, for a limited time, to exclude others from making, using, offering to sell or selling (within the US), or importing into the US, any article or process covered by the claims stated in the patent, except with a valid license from the patent owner.
For more information, see Practice Note, Intellectual Property: Overview: Patents (

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

adj. Obvious; manifest; apparent; clear; evident, as in "the contract had a patent ambiguity." See also latent ambiguity.
Pronounced PAY-tint.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

Open; manifest; evident.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

Open; manifest; evident.
II A grant to an inventor of the right to exclude others for a limited time from make, using, or selling his invention in the United States.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   1) adj. obvious. Used in such expressions as a "patent defect" in an appliance.
   2) n. an exclusive right to the benefits of an invention or improvement granted by the U.S. Patent Office, for a specific period of time, on the basis that it is novel (not previously known or described in a publication), "non-obvious" (a form which anyone in the field of expertise could identify), and useful. There are three types of patents: a) "utility patent" which includes a process, a machine (mechanism with moving parts), manufactured products, and compounds or mixtures (such as chemical formulas); b) "design patent" which is a new, original and ornamental design for a manufactured article; and c) "plant patent" which is a new variety of a cultivated asexually reproduced plant. Example: Secretary of Agriculture and later Vice President Henry A. Wallace developed hybrid corn which made him rich for life. A utility or plant patent lasts 17 years and a design patent lasts 14 years, but all types require payment of "maintenance" fees payable beginning 3 1/2 years after the issuance to keep them up. Patent law specialists can make a search of patents to determine if the proposed invention is truly unique, and if apparently so, can file an application, including detailed drawing and specifications. While awaiting issuance of the patent, products or designs should be marked "patent pending" or "pat. pending." Upon receiving the patent the product can be marked with the word "patent" and the number designated by the Patent Office. The rights can be transferred provided the assignment is signed and notarized to create a record or "licensed" for use. Manufacture of a product upon which there is an existing patent is "patent infringement" which can result in a lawsuit against the infringer with substantial damages granted.
   3) n. a nearly obsolete expression for a grant of public land by the government to an individual.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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