Product management glosary


What is Patent?

Patent is a legal document that gives the inventor the exclusive right to prevent others from making, using, or selling an invention for a certain period of time. It is a form of intellectual property protection that grants the inventor the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling the invention for a period of time, usually 20 years from the date of filing.

Types of Patents

There are three types of patents:

  • Utility patents: These are the most common type of patents and cover new and useful processes, machines, articles of manufacture, and compositions of matter.
  • Design patents: These patents protect the ornamental design of an article of manufacture.
  • Plant patents: These patents protect new varieties of plants that are asexually reproduced.

Benefits of Patents

Patents provide several benefits to inventors, including:

  • Exclusive rights: Patents give inventors the exclusive right to make, use, and sell their invention for a certain period of time.
  • Revenue: Patents can be licensed or sold to generate revenue for the inventor.
  • Protection: Patents protect the inventor's invention from being copied by others.
  • Market advantage: Patents can give the inventor a competitive advantage in the market by preventing others from making or selling a similar product.

Patent Application Process

The patent application process can be complex and time-consuming. It involves the following steps:

  1. Search for prior art: Before filing a patent application, it is important to search for prior art to ensure that the invention is novel and non-obvious.
  2. Prepare and file the application: The patent application must include a detailed description of the invention, drawings, and claims that define the scope of the invention.
  3. Examination: The patent office will examine the application to determine if the invention meets the requirements for patentability.
  4. Issuance: If the patent office determines that the invention meets the requirements for patentability, a patent will be issued.

Enforcing Patents

If someone infringes on a patent, the patent owner can take legal action to enforce their rights. This can include filing a lawsuit to stop the infringing activity and seeking damages for any harm caused by the infringement.


Patents are an important tool for protecting and monetizing inventions. They provide inventors with exclusive rights to their inventions and can give them a competitive advantage in the market. However, the patent application process can be complex and time-consuming, and enforcing patents can be costly. Inventors should carefully consider the costs and benefits of obtaining a patent before filing an application.