A granted patent is a monopoly for an invention which gives the patent holder the right to exclude others from exploiting the invention. It grants exclusivity to an invention on a country by country basis to the inventor (employer or assignee) for a limited period of time in exchange for the detailed public disclosure of the invention.

An invention is a solution to a specific technical problem in the form of a product or a process. In exchange for this exclusive right, the inventor or assignee agrees to share details of their invention with the public.

For the invention to be patentable, it must be new (novel) and inventive (non-obvious). It is therefore very important you do not disclose your invention to third parties without an obligation of confidentiality until after you have filed an application and, advisably, until after your patent application is published.

The procedure for granting patents varies widely between countries according to national laws and international agreements.

A patent application must include one or more claims that define the invention, a detailed description of the invention, and any figures. The claims must meet relevant patentability requirements, i.e. be novel and inventive. The exclusive right granted to a patentee in most countries is the right to prevent others from making, using, selling, importing, or distributing a patented invention without permission.

Similar to other property rights, it may be sold (assigned), licensed, mortgaged, given away, or even abandoned. Patents can last up to twenty years.

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