adjective pa·tent [peyt-nt] /ˈpeɪt nt/ (for 10, 12–15)
verb (used with object)
Origin of patent
Synonyms for patent
Antonyms for patent
Related Words for prepatentlikely, hidden, possible, probable, latent, inert, inoperative, passive, asleep, comatose, sluggish, budding, future, conceivable, dormant, embryonic, imaginable, implied, inherent, lurking
- a government grant to an inventor assuring him the sole right to make, use, and sell his invention for a limited period
- a document conveying such a grant
- an official document granting a right
- any right granted by such a document
- a grant by the government of title to public lands
- the instrument by which such title is granted
- the land so granted
Word Origin for patent
late 14c., "open letter or document from some authority," shortened form of Anglo-French lettre patent (also in Medieval Latin (litteræ) patentes), literally "open letter" (late 13c.), from Old French patente (see patent (adj.).
The Letters Patent were ... written upon open sheets of parchment, with the Great Seal pendent at the bottom ... [while] the 'Litteræ Clausæ,' or Letters Close, ... being of a more private nature, and addressed to one or two individuals only, were closed or folded up and sealed on the outside. [S.R. Scargill-Bird, "A Guide to the Principal Classes of Documents at the Public Record Office," 1891]
Meaning "a license covering an invention" is from 1580s.
"to obtain right to land," 1670s, from patent (n.). The meaning "copyright an invention" is first recorded 1822, from earlier meaning "obtain exclusive right or monopoly" (1789), a privilege granted by the Crown via letters patent. Related: Patented; patenting.
late 14c., in letters patent, literally "open letter," from Old French patente, from Latin patentum (nominative patens) "open, lying open," present participle of patere "lie open, be open," from PIE *pete- "to spread" (see pace (n.)). Sense of "open to view, plain, clear" is first recorded c.1500. Related: Patently.