Patent usually refers to a right granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.

What it really means..

A patent provides the owner with the right to exclude others from;  making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the patented invention for the term of the patent.
The government grants the rights to inventors in exchange for their agreement to share the details of their inventions with the public.

Examples of types of patents for inventions include biological patents, business method patents, chemical patents and software patents.

The law on patents:

Patents are governed by national laws and by international treaties.

Usually, a country has a patent office with responsibility for operating that nation’s patent system, within the relevant patent laws.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) provides a forum for nations to agree on an aligned set of patent laws.
These international treaty procedures involve more than 140 countries. For a patent to be granted, the invention must meet the patentability requirements of the country it is applied for in.

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Courtesy – Lyn Yaworsky, IP Consultant, Invention Pathways Mackay ©.