Letters Patent

DEFINITION of 'Letters Patent'

A legal instrument that grants the exclusive rights of an invention to an individual or a corporation. A letters patent is granted by the government to an individual, giving him or her the rights to authorship or to a patent for a new invention or discovery. The new invention is required to provide a different way of doing something or a new solution.

BREAKING DOWN 'Letters Patent'

A letters patent is not sealed. It is open for public viewing at the patent and trademark office. The letters patent gives the rights of an invention to a person or entity for a limited period, usually for 20 years. The government may also refer to a patent as a "license" giving its holder rights to the innovative process, design or invention for a certain amount of time.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Patent

    A government license that gives the holder exclusive rights to ...
  2. Medical Patent

    A legal protection against market competition that a government ...
  3. Utility Patent

    A patent that covers the creation of a new or improved – and ...
  4. Field Of Use

    Restrictions that are placed on a license granted for the use ...
  5. Design Patent

    A patent protecting the unique visual qualities of a manufactured ...
  6. Patent Agent

    A professional licensed by the United States Patent and Trademark ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    Patents Are Assets, So Learn How To Value Them

    Innovation is the key to staying on top. Find out how companies protect their ideas and how to figure out how much they're worth.
  2. Investing

    Filing A Patent

    Want to patent your invention or design? Here's a complete step-by-step guide to the process.
  3. Investing

    Protecting Your Idea: Should You Patent It?

    At what stage of development should you patent an idea – and which ideas can you patent? Here's how to decide and what to do next.
  4. Investing

    Hiring A Really Competent Patent Attorney

    Use this guide to find a well-qualified attorney to guide your application through the complex patenting process at the best possible price.
  5. Investing Basics

    Who Are Patent Trolls & How Do They Work?

    Patent trolls are in the business of patent litigation, enforcing their patent rights against alleged infringers through license fees and lawsuits.
  6. Investing

    What's The Cost To File A Patent?

    When filing a patent, be ready to pay attorney fees, filing fees and other related expenses. Usually the total bill is a few thousand dollars.
  7. Fundamental Analysis

    How Patent Trolls Hurt Competition

    Patent trolls are known to have a negative impact on the overall business ecosystem. Investopedia explores how.
  8. Investing

    Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights: The Basics

    The decision to pursue a patent, trademark or copyright depends on the type of intellectual property you’re trying to shield.
  9. Personal Finance

    5 Items Under $5 That Made Millions

    These ridiculous inexpensive items made millions for the inventors behind them.
  10. Entrepreneurship

    Protecting Your Idea From Angel Investors

    If you need outside financing to grow your business, be careful about whom you decide to talk to and what information you offer them.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Can you realize capital gains on intangible property?

    Learn more about capital gains and losses and how they may apply to intangible assets. Find examples of intangible assets ... Read Answer >>
  2. When is it necessary to get a letter of credit?

    Capitalize on assets and negate risks by using a letter of credit. Letters of credit are often requested for buying, selling ... Read Answer >>
  3. What are the different types of letters of credit?

    Learn more about the different types of letters of credit that are used to facilitate exchanges between parties that might ... Read Answer >>
  4. When do I need a letter of credit?

    Learn more about the function of a letter of credit for both the buyer and the seller, and get some examples showing when ... Read Answer >>
  5. When are you legally required to get a letter of credit?

    Learn how exporters or importers who deal in international trade use letters of credit to ensure that transactions are safe, ... Read Answer >>
  6. Can entities other than banks issue letters of credit?

    Obtaining a letter of credit from a non-bank is legally acceptable according to the ICC, but companies tend to prefer to ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Goodwill

    An account that can be found in the assets portion of a company's balance sheet. Goodwill can often arise when one company ...
  2. Return On Invested Capital - ROIC

    A calculation used to assess a company's efficiency at allocating the capital under its control to profitable investments. ...
  3. Law Of Demand

    A microeconomic law that states that, all other factors being equal, as the price of a good or service increases, consumer ...
  4. Cost Of Debt

    The effective rate that a company pays on its current debt. This can be measured in either before- or after-tax returns; ...
  5. Yield Curve

    A line that plots the interest rates, at a set point in time, of bonds having equal credit quality, but differing maturity ...
  6. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will ...
Trading Center