Nature of Patents and Patent Rights -
When a patent is issued under the seal of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, it is signed by the Director of the USPTO or an Office official. The patent contains a grant to the patentee, and a printed copy of the specification and drawing is annexed to the patent and forms a part of it. The granted patent confers “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States.” The term of the patent is 20 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in the United States or, if the application contains a specific reference to an earlier filed application, from the date of the earliest such application was filed. The patent term is subject to the payment of maintenance fees as provided by law.
The exact nature of the right conferred must be carefully distinguished, and the key is in the words “right to exclude” in the phrase just quoted.
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