What is a patent?
Some describe it as being similar to real property, because it is a negative right or a “right to exclude” (you can read more on this topic here: http://www.investinip.com/patent-basics-what-is-a-patent/).
Others describe it as being different from real property, because it is an intangible asset. An intangible asset is typically juxtaposed to a tangible asset (e.g., real property–a house, land).
But merely describing a patent as a negative right or not being tangible fails to answer the question–these answers only describe what a patent is not.
So, what is a patent?
To answer this question, let’s consider (1) the purpose of a patent, and (2) how a patent achieves that purpose.
In this post, we’ll be discussing (1) the purpose of a patent.
For what purpose is a patent granted?
Simple–a patent is granted to an inventor for an invention.
What is an invention?
Citing to our Patent Clause, an invention is a discovery–a new way of addressing some problem, whether known or unknown prior to the point of discovery.
So how does the grant of a patent actually relate to a given discovery?
A patent is a legal instrument to embody that discovery, that step forward–it’s aim is to capture the essence of that discovery.
This is the purpose of a patent.
How does a patent embody or capture the essence of that discovery?
We’ll be discussing this in our next post.