A patent is a legal grant of a patent from the US Patent and Trademark Office. For a list of current examples and further reading see our patent calculator page.
Patent-holders get to decide who can use the inventions they have and who cannot. If they don’t like the use of a thing, they may file a lawsuit against the company or inventors who created it. However, there are many ways in which people can be able to legally use an invention for any purpose they like, without a patent. These techniques help make patent protection much more comprehensive and flexible than ever before.
Patent-holders have the right to sue the inventors for any infringement they have alleged, but can also prevent others from suing without first going through a lengthy legal process. For example, they can claim trademark-infringement damages if they believe that the inventors’ design infringes on their own trademark.
How long does it take for an invention to be granted a patent?
A patent application takes between two and six months to be fully filed and filed within the US. Applications are usually approved by any US patent office within the timeframe listed.
Patents have many different uses beyond those listed above. For example, many companies have patents that protect the ways in which their products work. Examples include:
Inventions that protect other people’s intellectual property (such as trade secrets).
Dynamics models, data-visualization, and software-design processes.
The use of patents in a global economy, such as the protection of intellectual property in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector in the United States and around the world.
Who owns and can use a patent?
Patent owners include individuals, businesses, and other organisations. Some patent-owners can only use a patent for certain types of use. For example, some can only use a patent to prevent others from using it, and some can only use a patent to enforce an exclusive license that has been previously agreed with the patent owner’s customer.
Although the US Patent and Trademark Office currently grants a wide definition of what constitutes a “use” of a patent, some patents have different definitions, particularly in a technology area related to patent law.
For example, many US Patents for software patents cover specific ways in which a software program can be “used.” Such patent-like terms are not often found in patent documents for pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
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