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What is a Patent?

What is a patent?

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.

Source: World Intellectual Property Office. What is a patent? Retrieved May 5, 2017 from

Why are patents important?
Patents legally identify inventions as belonging to the inventor. Thus, patents are useful if:

  • You have invented something and want to make sure no one steals your idea.
  • To make sure your own idea is original and that is, no one else has already
    invented it.
  • To find information that doesn’t exist elsewhere in scholarly publishing.

Different kinds of patents:

There are different kinds of patents for different types of innovation generally they fall under three categories:

  1. Utility Patent
  2. Design Patent
  3. Plant Patent

These definitions and more can be found at The United States Patent and Trademark Office

Obtaining a Patent:
Some patents are available on the Web. Order others through our Document Delivery Service. Patents are not collected by Sexton Library.