DEFINITION of 'Field Of Use'

Restrictions that are placed on a license granted for the use of an existing patent. Field of use restrictions limit the use of a patent to a certain industry, or even a specific product. These restrictions aim to protect patents against overuse or reckless use, and are a factor in the fees that are charged to patent licensees.

BREAKING DOWN 'Field Of Use'

Field of use restrictions help patent owners control how their patents and inventions are used in the marketplace. This arrangement is often found with the free licensing of certain patents. This enables the patent holder to profit from future applications that might use the patent in different ways. Another common example of field of use restrictions occurs within universities, where teams or groups of people may collectively hold a patent, but the members may have different wishes about how the patent should be licensed.

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