patent

(law) A grant by law to an inventor of a device of the right to exclude other persons from making, using, or selling the device. The patent holder has the right to license to another person the right to make, use, or sell the device. A patent is available only for devices that embody a new idea or principle and that involve a discovery. Patent protection varies from country to country, and may not be available in some jurisdictions. A country that is a member the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property may recognize patents held in other jurisdictions. See copyright; service mark; trademark; Paris Convention; World Intellectual Property Organization.

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