What is the Purpose of a Patent?
The purpose of a patent is to give an inventor the right to exclusively manufacture or use their invention, or to sell or license rights to their inventions to someone else. Patents can be licensed by the patent holder to others, allowing them to legally manufacture the invention. Sometimes they give exclusive rights and other times an invention can be licensed to multiple manufacturers.
A patent does not mean the invention must be used during that time of exclusive rights. While the patent is in effect, although others can not use it without permission, it is not required that the holder of the patent use it either.
- With a patent, an invention cannot be made, used, distributed or sold without the patent owner's consent.
- Patents give rewards to inventors for originality, for creation of something beyond current knowledge.
An invention may do something, or do it better, than was done before, and patenting inventions give inventors the right to be reimbursed for their work. This encourages ongoing innovation, which means the quality of life continuously increases.
Corporations sponsor R & D departments because they are assured monetary benefit from spending the time and effort to come up with something new. Patenting also means that when the patent period is over, the invention is public knowledge.
Patents also, because the rights can be sold or assigned, allow small inventors to license the rights to manufacture their invention to a company, receive money from the licensing, and continue inventing something else.