Written by Fmi.Online Thursday November 17, 2022
A patent is the exclusive, legal right to use a process or create and sell a product for 20 years. The US government has developed patent laws to give inventors and innovators motivation to keep pursuing new ideas and technology. The idea behind a patent is that if a person develops a new technology, manufacturing process, or device; he can patent it and prevent others from copying him for 20 years. This means the inventor can protect his creation and capitalize on it during the patent period.


Many people get patents, trademarks, and copyrights confused. Patents are only issued for a product design, functionality, or production process. Trademarks are issued for branding rights and copyrights are issued for other intangible property rights like music.A patent is an intangible asset to a company. Patents are similar to goodwill or natural resources rights. They are not expensed when bought; instead they are amortized of the useful life, which is 20 years.

In a nutshell:

  • A patent is the granting of a property right by a sovereign authority to an inventor. 
  • A patent provides the inventor exclusive rights to the patented process, design, or invention for a certain period in exchange for a complete disclosure of the invention.
  • In June of 2018, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued its 10 millionth patent.
  • Utility patents are the most common patent issued in the United States, accounting for 90% of all issued patents.
  • Utility and plant patents are granted for 20 years, whereas design patents are granted for either 14 or 15 years, depending on when filed.
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