• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

A patent is a governmental grant of exclusive control over a new invention—a material, product, or process—for a specific period of time, normally 20 years. A patent is granted as a reward for innovation, usually technical innovation. Recently, in some countries, including the United States, a patent may be granted on a new method for doing business. To qualify for a patent, the discovery must be useful, novel, and nonobvious—that is, not an extension of existing technology that would be obvious to an expert in the field. The patent holder has the legal right to prevent others from producing, using, selling, or importing objects that infringe on the patent. A patent holder may license third parties to manufacture or sell the invention, usually in return ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles