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Patents

Patents are different from trademarks. Patents provide protection for inventions, processes, formulas, or improvements in one of these areas. Patent protection is a right granted by a government that gives its holder the right to exclude others from making, using, or selling the patented invention “claimed” in the patent deed, provided that certain fees are paid. Part of the intent of patent provisioning laws is to give the developer of a new product or idea time to recover any necessary research and development costs, along with start-up costs, without the normal influence from competition.

Patents may not be obtained for an invention that has been publicly disclosed, is in use, or marketed in this country for more than one year before a patent application is filed. Thus, it is critical to patent an invention before disclosing or marketing it; otherwise, the possibility of obtaining a patent is quickly jeopardized.


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