Patents, which are a form of intellectual property, are typically granted to an inventor by a government. They are usually for a defined period and are given in exchange for the invention being revealed to the public. Granting patents varies widely according to the laws in place in each jurisdiction. However, the application for a patent must include at least one or more declaration that the invention be non-obvious, new and useful.
The right(s) granted to a person who has applied for a patent is the exclusive right to stop other individuals from using, making, distributing or selling the invention without their permission. In other words, a patent is a right to prevent others from using the registrant’s invention.
Patents are typically available in every field of technology with a minimum term of at least 20 years. However, different kinds of patents may have a varied term. In effect, patents are a limited property right offered to inventors, provided they share their inventions with the public. This right may be assigned, transferred, abandoned, given away, sold, licensed or even mortgaged.