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) \

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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The caveat that Edison filed in 1890 was the latest in a long line of pre-patent applications. Nat Segnit, Harper’s Magazine , 16 Mar. 2022 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 Sanders Associates received the first patent for a video game in 1964 because Higinbotham never patented his work. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 15 Sep. 2022 In December 2019, Compass received a patent for a method of synthesizing psilocybin. Wired, 28 July 2022 The proportion of prospective innovators — those who may be nibbling at a new idea or who may have submitted or received a patent or created a prototype or marketable product without substantive commercialization success is about 5%. Marc Succi, STAT, 24 May 2022 In 1896, Kokichi received a patent for his method of cultivating pearls–but not everyone embraced the new gems. Jill Newman, Town & Country, 12 May 2022 While Bell received the first patent for a telephone, the origin of the telephone is complicated and inconclusive, with Elisha Gray, Antonio Meucci of Italy, and Innocenzo Manzetti each claiming to be the phone’s true inventor. Ben Zigterman, BGR, 4 Feb. 2022 In 1882, Fitz received another patent for a globe that indicated positions of the stars above any horizon at any time of the year. Renee Morad, NBC News, 25 Mar. 2021 The World Trade Organization recently agreed to suspend patent protections for Covid-19 vaccines. Kenneth E. Thorpe, STAT, 2 Aug. 2022 Eventually, even the most generous patent protections come to an end and companies must face the potential for generic competition. Robert Pearl, Forbes, 29 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And importantly, the researchers published the code online and purposefully did not patent the technology, which allows others to build on and use the work freely. Edward Chen, STAT, 13 July 2022 Grivel couldn’t patent the new designs because mice had eaten the original drawings, but the family company, Grivel, continued to improve upon the design. Andrew Freeman, Outside Online, 21 May 2012 And patent it all Apple did—right down to the slide-to-unlock feature and beveled edges. Nat Watkins, Wired, 15 Mar. 2022 In other words, Prometheus hadn’t sought to patent a natural phenomenon like metabolization. Paul R. Michel, STAT, 8 Feb. 2022 Cui applied for a grant, won it, and went on to patent his new fabric technology. Corey Buhay, Outside Online, 30 Jan. 2022 Eric Wooldridge and Daniel Bailey had filed an application to patent the technology in 2012. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, 16 Nov. 2021 Scientists and advocacy groups alike have fiercely opposed past iron-addition experiments, over concerns that for-profit companies would patent and commercialize the technology and that the extra iron would trigger blooms of toxic algae. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 3 Nov. 2021 Where research and collaboration on earlier viral outbreaks such as SARS and H5N1 were stymied by races to patent their genetic sequences, this did not occur with SARS-CoV-2. Jorge L. Contreras, CNN, 21 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

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 4 Oct. 2022.

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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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