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patent

patent, in law, governmental grant of some privilege, property, or authority. Today patent refers to the granting to the inventor of a useful product or process the privilege to exclude others from making that invention. Patent is also the term for the conveyance of public lands to an individual. Patents developed out of the medieval institution of allowing monopolistic control over useful goods in order to encourage their sale and distribution; the authority was contained in letters patent (meaning open, i.e., public). The corrupt sale of such privileges and the consequent increase in the price of necessities led in England to the Statute of Monopolies (1623), which abolished all monopolies except those of inventors in their inventions.

The U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 8) authorizes Congress to enact patent legislation; the first such law was enacted Apr. 10, 1790. In 1836, Congress created the U.S. Patent Office (now the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) and established the basic principles of American patent law. Comprehensive revision of that law occurred in 1870 and in 1952. In the United States any process or device may be patented if it is novel and useful and if plans and a working model are supplied. In all countries patents are valid for a limited term only (17 years in the United States); this limit ordinarily secures a profit to the inventor for a reasonable period yet will not permanently deprive the public of the free use of the invention.

The American law was designed to encourage the maximum inventiveness. Unlike many European countries where the rights to patents are limited so as to make innovations in industry easier, the United States does not require the patentee to permit the use of the invention on pain of losing the patent. Although there have been many independent inventors in the United States, most important patents today are the property of large corporations capable of exploiting them.

Injurious practices, such as withholding beneficial patents that might make obsolete some widely used product or process, have developed. Other practices, such as acquiring all patents in a given field and granting manufacturing licenses only to firms that promise to refrain from effective competition, have been repeatedly attacked by the federal government under the antitrust laws (see trust). Difficulties have also developed in the effective and equitable regulation of patents taken out by foreigners.

See F. L. Vaughan, The United States Patent System: Legal and Economic Conflicts in American Patent History (1956); B. W. Bugbee, Genesis of American Patent and Copyright Law (1967); C. MacLeod, Inventing the Industrial Revolution (1989).

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patent

patent A government grant to an inventor assuring him/her the exclusive right to exploit or sell the invention for a limited period (usually 20 years). Under the 1985 Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office, patent protection is available to inventive computer programs in Europe if the invention is expressed in terms of a programmed machine. Programs can be patented in the USA if they comply with the originality and other requirements of the US Patent Act. Inventive hardware is patentable in Europe and this leads to a serious flaw in the law; the same task can be performed by both software and hardware but the former is expressly excluded from protection by a clause in the European Patent Convention. The question of whether a program that performs the same task as a piece of patented hardware infringes the patent in the hardware has not yet been decided in Europe, nor has it been decided whether a PROM is a piece of software or hardware. Many of these inventions are now given a special type of copyright protection under new laws protecting chip masks. See also trade secrets.

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"patent." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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patent

pat·ent • n. / ˈpatnt/ 1. a government authority to an individual or organization conferring a right or title, esp. the sole right to make, use, or sell some invention: he took out a patent for an improved steam hammer. 2. short for patent leather. • adj. 1. / ˈpātnt; ˈpat-/ easily recognizable; obvious: she was smiling with patent insincerity. 2. Med. / ˈpātnt; ˈpat-/ (of a vessel, duct, or aperture) open and unobstructed; failing to close. ∎  (of a parasitic infection) showing detectable parasites in the tissues or feces. 3. / ˈpatnt/ made and marketed under a patent; proprietary: patent milk powder. • v. / ˈpatnt/ [tr.] obtain a patent for (an invention): an invention is not your own until it is patented. DERIVATIVES: pat·ent·a·ble adj. pat·ent·ly / ˈpatntlē; ˈpā-/ adv. (in sense 1 of the adjective).

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"patent." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Patent

PATENT


A patent is a legal document issued by a government granting exclusive authority to an inventor for making, using, and selling an invention. The invention must have a sufficient degree of newness, usefulness, or novelty to distinguish it from items with existing patents. To qualify for a patent, an invention may not merely be a substitution, change, or combination of items. In the United States inventions may include products, machines, methods, new uses, and even new forms of life as genetically engineered bacteria.

The exclusive authority granted is considered a barrier to entry, that is, something that prevents anyone else from copying or producing the invention without permission. By doing so, government hopes to encourage creative innovations by providing sufficient time for the innovator to recoup his research costs and realize profits. The inventor may manufacture, use, or sell his invention in a monopolistic atmosphere.

Each country has its own system of patents. In the United States, applications are made to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), and it takes up to two years to process. The patent is granted to the first inventor rather than the first person to make application, so inventors must document when they first came up with the idea. The PTO exhaustively checks previous patents to make sure of no duplications. If none exist, PTO sends a notice of allowance to the inventor. Upon paying fees, the patent is issued. The patent protects the invention for 17 years. A design patent, which covers only the appearance of an item, is issued for 14 years. A patent owner may sue on grounds of infringement to stop any copying of the invention.

The U.S. Constitution first empowered Congress to secure exclusive rights for inventors. At the beginning of the twentieth century, 82 percent of patents issued in the United States went to individuals and 17 percent to U.S. corporations. By 1962 about 28 percent of the patents went to individuals while 59 percent went to U.S. corporations, 12 percent to foreign entities, and two percent to the U.S. government. The sharp decline in individual patents could partially be explained by large increases in corporate research and development expenditures funded by both the federal government and private industry.

In 1992 the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) highlighted the continued importance of patents by requiring each member country to provide both product and process patents for all kinds of inventions.


See also: North American Free Trade Agreement

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"Patent." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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patent

patent
A. in letters p., formerly also letters p—s, open letter from an authority recording, enjoining, or conferring something XIV; conferred by these XVI; protected by letters patent, as an invention XVIII;

B. (gen.) open, manifest XVI. In A — (O)F. patent, -ente (in lettres patentes) — L. patēns, -ent-, prp. of patēre lie open; in B, directly — L.
Hence as sb., by ellipsis of letters XIV.

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"patent." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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patent

patent a government authority or licence to an individual or organization conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to make, use, or sell some invention. Recorded from late Middle English, the word comes via Old French from Latin patent- ‘lying open’.
patent roll a parchment roll containing the letters patent issued in Britain (or formerly in England) in any one year.

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Patent

PATENT

Open; manifest; evident.

In the sale of personal property, a patent defect is one that is clearly visible or that can be discovered by an inspection made by a person exercising ordinary care and prudence.

A patent defect in a legal description is one that cannot be corrected so that a new description must be used.

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"Patent." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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patent

patent (letters patent) Privilege granted to the inventor of a new product or process. A patent excludes others from producing or making use of an invention for a limited period, unless under license from the holder of the patent. See also copyright

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patent

patent (pay-tĕnt) adj. open; unblocked. p. ductus arteriosus see ductus arteriosus.

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"patent." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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patent

patentabeyant, mayn't •ambient, circumambient •gradient, irradiant, radiant •expedient, ingredient, mediant, obedient •valiant • salient • resilient • emollient •defoliant • ebullient • suppliant •convenient, intervenient, lenient, prevenient •sapient •impercipient, incipient, percipient, recipient •recreant • variant • miscreant •Orient • nutrient •esurient, luxuriant, parturient, prurient •nescient, prescient •omniscient • insouciant • renunciant •officiant • negotiant • deviant •subservient • transient •affiant, Bryant, client, compliant, defiant, giant, pliant, reliant •buoyant, clairvoyant, flamboyant •fluent, pursuant, truant •affluent • effluent • mellifluent •confluent • circumfluent • congruent •issuant • continuant • constituent •lambent • absorbent •incumbent, recumbent •couchant • merchant • hadn't •ardent, guardant, regardant •pedant •appendant, ascendant, attendant, codependent, defendant, descendant, descendent, intendant, interdependent, pendant, pendent, splendent, superintendent, transcendent •antecedent, decedent, needn't, precedent •didn't • diffident • confident •accident • dissident •coincident, incident •oxidant • evident •improvident, provident •president, resident •strident, trident •co-respondent, correspondent, despondent, fondant, respondent •accordant, concordant, discordant, mordant, mordent •rodent •imprudent, jurisprudent, prudent, student •couldn't, shouldn't, wouldn't •impudent •abundant, redundant •decadent • verdant • infant • elephant •triumphant • sycophant • elegant •fumigant • congregant • litigant •termagant • arrogant • extravagant •pageant •cotangent, plangent, tangent •argent, Sargent, sergeant •agent • newsagent • regent •astringent, contingent, stringent •indigent • intelligent • negligent •diligent • intransigent • exigent •cogent •effulgent, fulgent, indulgent •pungent •convergent, detergent, divergent, emergent, insurgent, resurgent, urgent •bacchant • peccant • vacant • piquant •predicant • mendicant • significant •applicant • supplicant • communicant •lubricant • desiccant • intoxicant •gallant, talent •appellant, propellant, propellent, repellent, water-repellent •resemblant •assailant, inhalant •sealant • sibilant • jubilant •flagellant • vigilant • pestilent •silent •Solent, volant •coolant • virulent • purulent •ambulant, somnambulant •coagulant • crapulent • flatulent •feculent • esculent • petulant •stimulant • flocculent • opulent •postulant • fraudulent • corpulent •undulant •succulent, truculent •turbulent • violent • redolent •indolent • somnolent • excellent •insolent • nonchalant •benevolent, malevolent, prevalent •ambivalent, equivalent •garment • clement • segment •claimant, clamant, payment, raiment •ailment •figment, pigment •fitment • aliment • element •oddment •dormant, informant •moment • adamant • stagnant •lieutenant, pennant, subtenant, tenant •pregnant, regnant •remnant • complainant •benignant, indignant, malignant •recombinant • contaminant •eminent •discriminant, imminent •dominant, prominent •illuminant, ruminant •determinant • abstinent •continent, subcontinent •appurtenant, impertinent, pertinent •revenant •component, deponent, exponent, opponent, proponent •oppugnant, repugnant •immanent •impermanent, permanent •dissonant • consonant • alternant •covenant • resonant • rampant •discrepant • flippant • participant •occupant • serpent •apparent, arrant, transparent •Arendt •aberrant, deterrent, errant, inherent, knight-errant •entrant •declarant, parent •grandparent • step-parent •godparent •flagrant, fragrant, vagrant •registrant • celebrant • emigrant •immigrant • ministrant • aspirant •antiperspirant • recalcitrant •integrant • tyrant • vibrant • hydrant •migrant, transmigrant •abhorrent, torrent, warrant •quadrant • figurant • obscurant •blackcurrant, concurrent, currant, current, occurrent, redcurrant •white currant • cross-current •undercurrent •adherent, coherent, sederunt •exuberant, protuberant •reverberant • denaturant •preponderant • deodorant •different, vociferant •belligerent, refrigerant •accelerant • tolerant • cormorant •itinerant • ignorant • cooperant •expectorant • adulterant •irreverent, reverent •nascent, passant •absent •accent, relaxant •acquiescent, adolescent, albescent, Besant, coalescent, confessant, convalescent, crescent, depressant, effervescent, erubescent, evanescent, excrescent, flavescent, fluorescent, immunosuppressant, incandescent, incessant, iridescent, juvenescent, lactescent, liquescent, luminescent, nigrescent, obsolescent, opalescent, pearlescent, phosphorescent, pubescent, putrescent, quiescent, suppressant, tumescent, turgescent, virescent, viridescent •adjacent, complacent, obeisant •decent, recent •impuissant, reminiscent •Vincent • puissant •beneficent, maleficent •magnificent, munificent •Millicent • concupiscent • reticent •docent •lucent, translucent •discussant, mustn't •innocent •conversant, versant •consentient, sentient, trenchant •impatient, patient •ancient • outpatient •coefficient, deficient, efficient, proficient, sufficient •quotient • patent •interactant, reactant •disinfectant, expectant, protectant •repentant • acceptant •contestant, decongestant •sextant •blatant, latent •intermittent •assistant, coexistent, consistent, distant, equidistant, existent, insistent, persistent, resistant, subsistent, water-resistant •instant •cohabitant, habitant •exorbitant • militant • concomitant •impenitent, penitent •palpitant • crepitant • precipitant •competent, omnicompetent •irritant • incapacitant • Protestant •hesitant • visitant • mightn't • octant •remontant • constant •important, oughtn't •accountant • potent •mutant, pollutant •adjutant • executant • disputant •reluctant •consultant, exultant, resultant •combatant • omnipotent • impotent •inadvertent •Havant, haven't, savant, savante •advent •irrelevant, relevant •pursuivant • solvent • convent •adjuvant •fervent, observant, servant •manservant • maidservant •frequent, sequent •delinquent • consequent •subsequent • unguent • eloquent •grandiloquent, magniloquent •brilliant • poignant • hasn't •bezant, omnipresent, peasant, pheasant, pleasant, present •complaisant • malfeasant • isn't •cognizant • wasn't • recusant •doesn't

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