What is a patent?

If you have an invention or innovation, then a patent can give you the legal right to the exclusive use of that invention. In return for publicly disclosing the invention, you can exclude all others from exploiting that invention for a period of time, usually 20 years.

A patent may be obtained for an invention that is new, is not obvious and has industrial applicability. Most new and inventive technical inventions can be patented, although certain types of inventions are explicitly excluded from patentability.