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A legal document issued by the United States to the inventor. The inventor, as the owner of the patent, has the right to exclude any other person from making, using, or selling the invention covered by the patent anywhere in the United States for 17 years from the date the patent was issued; A document issued to an inventor by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Contains a detailed description of what the invention is and how to make or use it and provides rights against infringors. (note: due to factors including the Gatt treaty the time period for patents is undergoing changes. 5/95)