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A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the U.S. government through the. The patent grant excludes others from making, using, or selling the invention in the United States. Once a patent is issued, the patentee must enforce the patent without aid of the USPTO.
The terms “Patent Pending” and “Patent Applied For” are used to inform the public that an application for a patent has been filed. Patent protection does not start until the date the patent is granted. Marking of an article as patented when it is not is illegal and subject to penalty.
A patent cannot be obtained on a mere idea or suggestion. Patent applications are examined for both technical and legal merit.
These sources provide an overview of the basic principles of patent law. They are a good place to pegin learning about patents.