a written or printed instrument issued by a sovereign power, conferring upon a patentee some right, as the exclusive right to land or the exclusive right to make, use, and sell an invention for a limited time.
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How to use letters patent in a sentence
The inventor must apply to the commissioner of patents for letters patent which secure to him his invention.Putnam's Handy Law Book for the Layman | Albert Sidney Bolles
Shower undertook to prove that the letters patent to which Somers had put the Great Seal were illegal.The History of England from the Accession of James II. | Thomas Babington Macaulay
But, in spite of the King's letters patent, the history of Cambridge printing for nearly fifty years is a blank.A History of the Cambridge University Press | S. C. Roberts
letters patent were made out to this effect, the appointment being however expressly during the king's pleasure.
The act was to be in force during the term granted by their majesties letters patent to Thomas Neale.The Early History of the Colonial Post-Office | Mary E. Woolley
British Dictionary definitions for letters patent
See patent (def. 6)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012