What is a patent?

According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor. A patent gives the inventor the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling his or her invention in the United States or importing the invention into the United States. According to the Patent and Trademark Office, any person who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter may obtain a patent. The American inventor Thomas Edison filed more than 1,000 patents in his lifetime, including 141 patents for batteries and 389 for electric light and power.


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