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A patent is a grant of property right by the government to an inventor preventing others from making, using, or selling a new and useful invention for a period of 20 years from application date.
Watch a video on IP basics: Basic Facts: Trademarks, Patents and Copyrights
Watch: Science of Innovation: What is Innovation? Video prepared by NBC Learn in cooperation with National Science Foundation and the USPTO.
The most comprehensive source for U.S. patent and trademark information is the website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office:
Technology Transfer & Commercialization of Intellectual Property