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What does having a patent mean

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, or an exclusive right to a product or a process that generally provides a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. The owner of the patent may grant permission or license to other parties to use the invention on mutually agreed terms. The owner may also sell the right to the invention to another person who will then become the new owner of the patent. Once the patent has expired (20 years in the US), anyone can commercially exploit the invention without infringing the patent.