- What is a Patent? A patent is a limited duration property right relating to an invention, granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, in exchange for public disclosure of the invention. Generally, the USPTO will grant a patent for any product, process, article of manufacture, or anything else under the sun that is made by humans, if it is new, useful and non-obvious.
- How long does a Patent last? A patent typically lasts for 20 years from the date of filing. In some circumstances the patent may last longer, such as in the case where a provisional application is filed, or when a patent term adjustment is granted with an issued utility patent. Design patents, which protect the ornamental designs of products, last for 14 years from the date of issuance.
- What good does a Patent do?
A patent grants the owner a right to exclude others from making, using, or selling the patented invention, while simultaneously creating a record of what exactly was invented. That record preserves the know-how of the invention, essentially serving as an archive for technology.