FishFAQs: Patent Rights

Patent Rights

What Rights Do I Have with My Patent?

What rights do I have with my patent? A patent is a type of intellectual property, so let’s compare it with another type of property. If you buy a piece of land, you have both the right to build a house on it, and a second right to exclude others building on your land.

But a patent only gives the second right- excluding others from using your invention.

For example: Imagine you invent a rubber compound for tires. You know that your compound will only improve the performance of tires when it’s combined with a specific, already patented tread pattern. The combination of your compound with the specific tread makes a superior tire, and… well, it might make you rich.

Even though the Patent office knows your invention includes a patented tread, it sees that no one ever thought of the combination before, and it grants you a patent on your idea. No one else can make that tire without your permission. But in the same way, you can’t make it either without infringing on the tread patent.

This shows that a patent only gives the right to exclude others, not a right to make or sell the embodiments of the invention yourself.