Meaning of patent

pat•ent

Pronunciation: (pat'nt or, for 10, 12–15, pāt'- esp. Brit. pāt'nt), [key]
— n.
  1. the exclusive right granted by a government to an inventor to manufacture, use, or sell an invention for a certain number of years.
  2. an invention or process protected by this right.
  3. an official document conferring such a right; letters patent.
  4. the instrument by which the government of the United States conveys the legal fee-simple title to public land.
  5. patent leather.
—adj.
  1. protected by a patent; patented: a patent cooling device.
  2. pertaining to, concerned with, or dealing with patents, esp. on inventions: a patent attorney; patent law.
  3. conferred by a patent, as a right or privilege.
  4. holding a patent, as a person.
  5. readily open to notice or observation; evident; obvious: a patent breach of good manners.
  6. made of patent leather: patent shoes.
  7. lying open; not enclosed or shut in: a patent field.
  8. expanded or spreading.
  9. open, as a doorway or a passage.
  10. open, in various degrees, to the passage of the breath stream.
—v.t.
  1. to take out a patent on; obtain the exclusive rights to (an invention, process, etc.) by a patent.
  2. to originate and establish as one's own.
  3. to heat and quench (wire) so as to prepare for cold-drawing.
  4. to grant (public land) by a patent.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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