What every inventor should know about patents

To people that have spent countless hours building gadgets in their garages, a patent is proof that one has officially become an inventor

What exactly is a patent? While most everyone knows that a patent protects one’s rights to an invention, very few people understand what a patent actually is, or what a patent does. A U.S. patent is an intellectual property right granted for a limited time by the government of the United States in exchange for public disclosure of an invention. It is the right “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the U.S.”

Some, however, see a patent as much more than a property right. To people that have spent countless hours building gadgets in their garages, a patent is proof that one has officially become an inventor — like Tesla, Bell or Edison. For such hardworking innovators and entrepreneurs, obtaining a patent is the realization of a dream!

Contributing Author

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John F. O'Rourke

John F. O'Rourke is a registered patent attorney and inventor at WHGC, P.L.C. He has nearly 40 years of overall experience in the applied...

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