What is a patent?

A patent is a legal document that grants an inventor exclusive rights to use an invention. All patents are inventions but not all inventions are patents. A granted patent allows inventors and innovators to prevent others from making, using, selling or profiting from the patent without the proper approval for a specified period of time. For an invention to be considered a patent it should be filed and protected with a patent office, or a patent and trademark office which is a government agency. Patent and Trademark Offices examine patent applications and provide legal protection for a new and useful invention or process. In order to be granted a patent must meet certain requirements, including being novel, non-obvious, and useful. A patent is usually granted for a period of 20 years. the patent protection period usually starts from the date you first apply for patent protection. Patents are valuable asset for inventors and companies regardless of the size. Startups and companies interested in innovation and disrupting markets usually invests in patent protection. Patents provide a competitive advantage and prevent others from copying or profiting from their innovation. If you need more details you can check out our article about exploring the world of patent.