Meaning of “patent” in the English Dictionary

"patent" in British English

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patentnoun

uk /ˈpeɪ.tənt/ us /ˈpæt.ənt/

patent noun (LEGAL RIGHT)

[ C ] the official legal right to make or sell an invention for a particular number of years:

In 1880 Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent on an apparatus for signalling and communicating called a Photophone.
The company took out/filed a patent on a genetically engineered tomato.

patent noun (LEATHER)

patentverb [ T ]

uk /ˈpeɪ.tənt/ us /ˈpæt.ənt/

to get the official legal right to make or sell an invention:

If you don't patent your invention, other people may make all the profit out of it.

patentadjective

uk /ˈpeɪ.tənt/ /ˈpæt.ənt/ us /ˈpæt.ənt/ /ˈpeɪ.tənt/

(Definition of “patent” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"patent" in American English

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patentnoun [ C ]

us /ˈpæt·ənt/

the legal right to be the only one who can make, use, or sell an invention for a particular number of years

patent
verb [ T ] us /ˈpæt·ənt/

Otis patented a steam elevator in 1861.

patentadjective

us /ˈpæt·ənt, ˈpeɪ·tə/

patent adjective (OBVIOUS)

(of ideas or characteristics) obvious:

He felt the notion of beginner's luck was patent nonsense.
patently
adverb us /ˈpæt·ənt·li, ˈpeɪt-/

(Definition of “patent” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"patent" in Business English

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patentnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈpeɪtənt, ˈpætənt/ us 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.

patentverb [ T ]

uk /ˈpeɪtənt, ˈpætənt/ us LAW

to get the legal right to be the only person or company to make or sell a product for a particular number of years:

patent a device/process The company has designed and patented a device which it claims will sharply reduce pollution emissions from older cars.

patentadjective

uk /ˈpeɪtənt, ˈpætənt/ us

LAW →  patented

(Definition of “patent” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)