A patent is a right given by a sovereign government to any person or business that has a legal patent application approved. The patent must be for a new product, design, process or an improvement of something that already exists. A patent excludes others from copying the patent for a certain number of years. A patent is granted only to the inventor or assignee of the invention.

An application for a legal patent must be filed with the proper government office. The application must describe how to make and use a new intention. The description must be good enough for the patent office to be able to assemble and use the invention. In some cases the usefulness or the best way of using the invention must be shown.

After a patent application has been filed it is called patent pending. A patent pending warns others that if a patent is issued they can be held liable for copying the invention.

If the applications meets all the requirements of the government, a patent is issued. The patent is then subject to periodic renewal fees. How often the patent must be renewed and the cost of the fees varies depending on what sovereign government issues the patent.

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