What is the intent of the patent laws?

Minneapolis patent attorney Tim Grathwol explains the intent of the patent system.

Contact Tim Grathwol

Email: tgrat[email protected]

Phone: (612) 359-3275


So, the idea behind the patent law or the underlying policy is that inventors will disclose their new and interesting inventions to the public by describing the examples in full detail, and basically describing the best way that they know of practicing the invention. And in exchange, the government grants them this legal right to exclude others from practicing the invention. And that lasts 20 years, in the case of the US in a utility patent. So basically, the inventor or the owner of the patent received a monopoly of sorts to that particular applied technology for a certain period of time, which again in the case of the US is 20 years. In exchange, the public receives the information. And based on that information, other people can build upon that technology for new and better technologies.