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English definition of “patent”

patent

noun [C]     /ˈpeɪtənt, ˈpætənt/ LAW
the legal right to be the only person or company to make or sell a product for a particular number of years, or a document that gives you this right: apply for/file/take out a patent Filing a patent is a long and expensive process.be awarded/granted a patent An American company was granted the patent last year.a patent on sth He expects to be awarded a patent on his invention later this month.a patent for sth The company has been granted a patent for a milk carton opener. The drugs are protected by patent. The lawsuit will continue even after the patent expires. a patent attorney/lawyer a patent application
come/go off patent if a product comes off patent or goes off patent, the period of time for which someone has the patent for it comes to an end: A lot of the company's top-selling drugs were going off patent.
patent pending (also patent applied for) used to show that the person who has made or is selling a product has asked for a patent on it: The company has a patent pending on the machine.
(Definition of patent noun from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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