Patents are a set of legal rights given to an inventor to protect his or her invention, idea or design for a limited period of time. To obtain a patent, inventors must prove their invention is new, different and useful. Once a patent is applied for, the inventor can disclose their idea or invention without fear it will be stolen by others.
Once a patent is granted or pending, the inventor has sole claim to profit from their invention. He or she can make it, use it, sell it or sell the patent to others as they wish. The patent limitation varies by country but usually is a good period of time, such as fifteen or twenty years. For inventors serious about protecting their work, a patent attorney is a must.