patent

adjective
pat·​ent | \ senses 1–3 are ˈpa-tᵊnt How to pronounce patent (audio) , chiefly British ˈpā-; sense 4 ˈpā-; sense 5 ˈpā-, ˈpa-; senses 6–7 ˈpa-, ˈpā-, British usually ˈpā- How to pronounce patent (audio) \

Essential Meaning of patent

1 : of, relating to, or concerned with patents a patent law/lawyer The company settled a patent dispute last year. See More Examplesthe licensing of patent rights a patent application They were sued for patent infringement. a patent holder/ownerHide
2 formal : obvious or clear His explanation turned out to be a patent lie. She acted with patent disregard for the rules.

Full Definition of patent

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : open to public inspection used chiefly in the phrase letters patent
b(1) : secured by letters patent or by a patent to the exclusive control and possession of a particular individual or party patent foodstuffs have acquired an ever-increasing importance— Friedel Strauss
(2) : protected by a patent : made under a patent patent locks a patent coffee maker
c : protected by a trademark or a brand name so as to establish proprietary rights analogous to those conveyed by letters patent or a patent : proprietary patent drugs
2 : of, relating to, or concerned with the granting of patents especially for inventions a patent lawyer patent law
3 : making exclusive or proprietary claims or pretensions peddled his patent notions in season and out
4 : affording free passage : unobstructed a patent opening
5 : patulous, spreading a patent calyx
6 archaic : accessible, exposed
7 : readily visible or intelligible : obvious his patent sincerity a patent falsehood

patent

noun
pat·​ent | \ ˈpa-tᵊnt How to pronounce patent (audio) , British also ˈpā- How to pronounce patent (audio) \

Definition of patent (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : an official document conferring a right or privilege : letters patent
2a : a writing securing for a term of years the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention
b : the monopoly or right so granted
c : a patented invention
4 : an instrument making a conveyance of public lands also : the land so conveyed

patent

verb
pat·​ent | \ ˈpa-tᵊnt How to pronounce patent (audio) , British also ˈpā- How to pronounce patent (audio) \
patented; patenting; patents

Definition of patent (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to obtain or grant a patent right to
2 : to grant a privilege, right, or license to by patent
3 : to obtain or secure by patent especially : to secure by letters patent exclusive right to make, use, or sell

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Other Words from patent

Adjective

patently adverb

Verb

patentability \ ˌpa-​tᵊn-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce patent (audio) , British also  ˌpā-​ \ noun
patentable \ ˈpa-​tᵊn-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce patent (audio) , British also  ˈpā-​ \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for patent

Adjective

evident, manifest, patent, distinct, obvious, apparent, plain, clear mean readily perceived or apprehended. evident implies presence of visible signs that lead one to a definite conclusion. an evident fondness for sweets manifest implies an external display so evident that little or no inference is required. manifest hostility patent applies to a cause, effect, or significant feature that is clear and unmistakable once attention has been directed to it. patent defects distinct implies such sharpness of outline or definition that no unusual effort to see or hear or comprehend is required. a distinct refusal obvious implies such ease in discovering that it often suggests conspicuousness or little need for perspicacity in the observer. the obvious solution apparent is very close to evident except that it may imply more conscious exercise of inference. for no apparent reason plain suggests lack of intricacy, complexity, or elaboration. her feelings about him are plain clear implies an absence of anything that confuses the mind or obscures the pattern. a clear explanation

Examples of patent in a Sentence

Adjective The company settled a patent dispute last year. the licensing of patent rights They were sued for patent infringement. His explanation turned out to be a patent lie. She acted with patent disregard for the rules. Noun The product is protected by patent. Verb The product was patented by its inventor.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Tech companies file patent infringement lawsuits all the time — BlackBerry just sued Facebook for patent infringement last week. Kurt Wagner, Recode, 17 Mar. 2018 The researchers gathered data on how many different provisions of patent law each examiner invoked, on the theory that a more effective examiner would invoke more patent law provisions, on average. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, 5 Mar. 2018 Aspiring entrepreneurs will receive help in gaining access to business mentors, prototyping services, legal and patent advice and business plan development. Karen Farkas, cleveland.com, 15 Dec. 2017 While that didn’t result in any new federal law, many states ultimately passed laws limiting how patent demand letters can be used. Joe Mullin, Ars Technica, 9 Oct. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The application is a continuation of a patent awarded to Apple titled Electronic Devices Having Sliding Expandable Displays. Chris Smith, BGR, 7 Oct. 2021 Eventually, scientists developed a potion to meet Gaga’s specs, and the company now has a patent pending for the black-to-clear liquid technology. Vogue, 6 Oct. 2021 One measure would stop a practice called product hopping in which a minor tweak is made to the formula of a medication to win a new patent and therefore a longer period of exclusivity. Ed Silverman, STAT, 30 Sep. 2021 Bath was the first Black woman doctor to receive a patent. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 28 Sep. 2021 Chinese technology giants have seized on a new legal tactic to fight claims of intellectual property theft, raising concerns in the U.S. that Beijing’s promises to strictly enforce patent and copyright laws will be undermined by Chinese courts. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, 26 Sep. 2021 Early steel pens were filled with a dropper and prone to leaking, but several British inventions helped change that, including J.J. Loud’s 1888 ballpoint pen patent and De La Rue’s 1905 self-filling Onoto pen. Alexander Freeling, Robb Report, 31 Aug. 2021 But the federal government has had the opportunity to step up with its own manufacturing deals, circumventing patent or licensing claims. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 4 Aug. 2021 The trademark application is under review, according to the patent and trademark office. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 28 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb You’re not allowed to patent any herbal ingredient. The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, 23 June 2021 Until the mid-1990s, drug makers could patent their products only in the wealthiest markets, while negotiating licenses that allowed companies in other parts of the world to make generic versions. New York Times, 15 May 2021 But for now, Xu plans to patent the technology and support a co-author in commercializing it. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Apr. 2021 In addition to being an accomplished ventriloquist and TV host, in his spare time Winchell was the first person to build and patent an implantable artificial heart. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2021 To patent a humble staple like panela struck Colombians as absurd, like patenting café con leche. New York Times, 26 Jan. 2021 The company won't even patent the process for fear of exposing its secrets. Eric Tingwall, Car and Driver, 1 July 2020 The first patented drive-in movie theatre opened in 1933 in Camden, New Jersey, where audiences paid 25 cents per car, and the same again per occupant, to see the latest pictures. The Economist, 24 May 2020 Earlier this month, researchers from the virology institute in Wuhan filed an application to patent the drug’s use for treating the virus. Bloomberg.com, 7 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'patent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of patent

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1675, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for patent

Adjective, Noun, and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin patent-, patens, from present participle of patēre to be open — more at fathom

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Time Traveler for patent

Time Traveler

The first known use of patent was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near patent

patener

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patent base

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Cite this Entry

“Patent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/patent. Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for patent

patent

adjective
pat·​ent | \ for 1 ˈpa-tᵊnt or ˈpā-, for 2 ˈpa- \

Kids Definition of patent

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : obvious, evident a patent lie
2 : relating to or concerned with patents patent law

patent

noun
pat·​ent | \ ˈpa-tᵊnt How to pronounce patent (audio) \

Kids Definition of patent (Entry 2 of 3)

: a document that gives the inventor of something the right to be the only one to make or sell the invention for a certain number of years

patent

verb
pat·​ent | \ ˈpa-tᵊnt How to pronounce patent (audio) \
patented; patenting

Kids Definition of patent (Entry 3 of 3)

: to obtain the legal right to be the only one to make or sell an invention

patent

adjective
pa·​tent | \ ˈpat-ᵊnt, British usually ˈpāt- \

Medical Definition of patent

1 : protected by a trademark or a trade name so as to establish proprietary rights analogous to those conveyed by a patent : proprietary patent drugs
2 \ ˈpāt-​ \ : affording free passage : being open and unobstructed the nose patent with no pathological dischargeJournal of the American Medical Association

patent

adjective
pat·​ent | \ ˈpat-ᵊnt, 3 also ˈpāt- How to pronounce patent (audio) \

Legal Definition of patent

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : open to public inspection — see also letters patent at letter sense 2
b : secured or protected by a patent a nonexclusive patent license to produce and sell the product sought to enforce her patent rights against infringement
2 : of, relating to, or concerned with the granting of patents especially for inventions a patent lawyer involved in patent litigation
3 : readily seen, discovered, or understood a patent defect if no bad faith or abuse is patent — compare latent

Other Words from patent

patently adverb

patent

noun
pat·​ent | \ ˈpat-ᵊnt How to pronounce patent (audio) \

Legal Definition of patent (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : an official document conferring a right or privilege : letters patent at letter 2
2a : the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention or products made by an invented process that is granted to an inventor and his or her heirs or assigns for a term of years — see also intellectual property at property — compare copyright, trademark

Note: A patent may be granted for a process, act, or method that is new, useful, and not obvious, for a new use of a known process, machine, or composition of matter or material, as well as for an asexually reproduced distinct and new variety of plant (excluding one propagated from a tuber), and for any new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. Design patents are issued for a term of 14 years. Patents issuing on applications made after June 8, 1995, for basic or plant patents (excluding design patents) are for a term of 20 years from the date of application. An inventor can file a provisional patent application, which requires less documentation and lower fees than a regular application, before reducing the invention to practice. This allows the inventor to claim “patent pending” status for the invention and to establish an earlier filing date and priority of the invention. A regular patent application must be made within a year of the provisional application or it will expire. Patents are considered personal property and may be sold, assigned, or otherwise transferred. Under common law, if a patented invention or discovery is made while the inventor is working for a company, and is made on company time with company facilities and materials, the employer receives an irrevocable, nonassignable, nonexclusive, royalty-free license to use it. Often an employee is required contractually to assign his or her patent to the employer.

b : the writing securing such a right received his patent in the mail
c : a patented invention all substantial rights to a patentInternal Revenue Code
3 : an instrument making a conveyance of public lands to issue a patent to each of said Indians for the village or town lot occupied by himU.S. Code — see also fee patent at fee sense 1

patent

transitive verb
pat·​ent

Legal Definition of patent (Entry 3 of 3)

: to obtain or grant a right to (something) by a patent the land was patented to the railroad specifically : to protect the rights to (an invention) by a patent printed matter cannot be patented

History and Etymology for patent

Adjective

Anglo-French, from Latin patent- patens, from present participle of patēre to be open

More from Merriam-Webster on patent

Nglish: Translation of patent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of patent for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about patent

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