What is a patent?

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention. In other words, a patent is an exclusive right to a product or a process that generally provides a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.

To get a patent, technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the public in a patent application. The patent owner may give permission to, or license, other parties to use the invention on mutually agreed terms. The owner may also sell the right to the invention to someone else, who will then become the new owner of the patent.

Once a patent expires, the protection ends, and an invention enters the public domain; that is, anyone can commercially exploit the invention without infringing the patent.

Patents are territorial rights. In general, the exclusive rights are only applicable in the country or region in which a patent has been filed and granted, in accordance with the law of that country or region.