A patent is a set of exclusive rights approved by a state (national government) to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in switch over for a public disclosure of an invention. The procedure for granting patents, the supplies placed on the patentee, and the extent of the restricted rights vary widely stuck between countries according to national laws and international agreements.
The term 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 practical improvement thereof. The additional requirement utility patent is used in the United States to distinguish it from other types of patents (e.g. design patents) but should not be mystified with utility models granted by other countries. Examples of particular species of patents for inventions contain biological patents, business method patents, chemical patents and software patents which was a government notice to the public of a grant of an exclusive right to ownership and possession.
These were often grants of a patent-like domination and predate the modern origins of the patent system. For other uses of the phrase patent see notably land patents, which were land grants by early state governments in the USA, and printing patent, a precursor of modern copyright. These meanings reflect the unique meaning of letters patent that had a broader scope than current usage.