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What is Patent?

A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The term of a new patent is 20 years from the first effective filing priority date, which generally is 20 years from the application filing date in the United States. U.S. patent grants are effective only within the United States, U.S. territories, and U.S. possessions.

The right conferred by the patent grant is "the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling" the invention in the United States or "importing" the invention into the United States. What is granted is not the right to make, use, offer for sale, sell or import, but the right to exclude. Once a patent is issued, the patentee must enforce the patent without aid of the USPTO.