Sustainable Living: 3M FuturewiseTown PlanIntroductionGo BackGo Next3M

Patent

What can you do with a patent?

Patents give inventors the right to stop others from copying or stealing their invention. The patent owner does not have to use or make their invention. Once a patent has been awarded, the inventor could:

  • sell their invention and all the rights to their invention to someone else.
  • let someone else use their invention (license the invention) but keep the rights (which they could sell at a later date – or not).
  • forget about their invention and see if anyone comes to them to use it.
  • forget about their invention and sue anyone if they try to copy it without consulting them.

How long is an invention protected by a patent?

 10 years?

 20 years?



 Why do patents exist?