A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by the government in exchange for publicly disclosing an invention. These rights, which permit the patentee to exclude others from making, using, selling or distributing the invention without consent for typically 20 years, are generally only granted to the inventors or their legal representatives. In cases of sole inventorship, there is little doubt as to who should be named as an inventor on the patent document. Where an invention arises from a collaborative effort, determining who is truly an inventor can be challenging. It also differs significantly from the way authorship is established for other publications.
A patent is a set of rights granted by a country or state to exclude others from making, using or selling your invention for specified period of time – usually 20 years from the date of filing of the initial application. This monopoly is the quid pro quo to the inventor for sharing a complete description of the invention with the public. The aim of the patent system is to benefit society and foster innovation by providing future inventors with the benefit of your knowledge. The origins of modern patent rights trace their history back to the 14th and 15th centuries in Italy and England, although as far back as 3rd century in ancient Greece, records show that exclusive rights were granted to creators of unique culinary dishes for fixed periods.