What does Patent mean?
A patent is the right to create, use, and sell an invention.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office manages the registration and maintenance processes related to patents. When the office grants a patent, they disclose the patent publicly. The primary benefit of obtaining a patent for an invention is to prevent theft of the invention. There are three types of patents. A utility patent relates to any invention or discovery that provides a useful benefit in the form of a new process, machine, article of manufacture, composition of material, or improvement in any of these items. A design patent relates to the creation of a new, original, or ornamental item for use in manufacturing processes. A plant patent relates to the creation of any new and distinct breed of plant. Utility and plant patents last for 20 years, whereas design patents last for 14 years. Utility patents require the payment of an annual maintenance fee, but plant and design patents require no maintenance fee.