Letters Patent – Definition

Cite this article as:"Letters Patent – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated September 24, 2019, last accessed October 24, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/letters-patent-definition-2/.

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Letters Patent Definition

A letter patent refers to an instrument backed by law that gives an individual or corporation the right, monopoly or recognized status, dignity or title which is attributed to a discovery or an innovation. When an individual or corporation creates new innovation or makes new recovery, a letter patent is the exclusive rights they enjoy over the new development. Letter patents can be a written or printed document that a designated authority or sovereign power grants an individual or a corporation. A government authority such as a  monarch, president, head of state, prime minister can confer patent patents on patentee (the receiver).

A Little More on What is Letters Patent

The general public can view a letter patent, it is not a sealed document, neither is it a high-class information. The patent office or trademark agency makes letter patents available for public viewing. Through letters patent, the exclusive rights granted to an individual or corporation for an invention lasts for a period of 20 years. Letters patent are also called license.

Letters close are direct opposite of letters patent in that these legal instruments are personal and not released for public viewing.

References for “Leverage




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