A patent is a legal title issued by a public authority.
It gives the holder exclusive proprietary and operating rights over an invention for a set period of time and within a given territory.
© Library and Archives Canada – Photographic Instrument (Patent filed by John R. Connon in 1888)
A source of information
Patents can be used to find a solution to a given technical problem.
They help assess the state of the art. Indeed, patent specifications contain extremely comprehensive information that is more recent and detailed than that found in technical or academic literature.
A patent can be useful for monitoring what your peers and rivals are doing.
Patent monitoring allows you to stay updated on the release of new products and adapt your strategy accordingly (strategic marketing).
A patent can spare a company from investing time and money in a product or a process that has already been patented.
A patent is a way of protecting yourself against counterfeiting.
Since prior art seaching and patentability go hand in hand, a patent guarantees an invention's novelty.
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