A patent is a government grant or exclusive privilege which allows making use or selling of a new invention for a term of year. A patent takes the form of an official document, having the seal of government attached to it, which confers an exclusive privilege or right over a period of time to the proceeds of an invention.
Patents are regarded as a part of the primary sources because an invention has to be new, only then it can be patented. Very often, there may be no published description of the idea incorporated in a patent or its application. It may be mentioned that patents are of special interest to chemists and engineers. In each country, there is one publishing agency and these are serially numbered.Harrods Librarian Glossary define patent as;
- A specification concerning the designs or manufacture of something which is protected by letters patents and secured for the exclusive profit of the designer or inventor for a limited number of years which varies in different countries from fifteen to twenty years. The department which controls the registration of patents is called a ‘Patent Office’.
- A publication, issued by such an office, which gives details of designs and processes.
- Chemical abstracts, 1907-, Easton, Pa., American Chemical Society,
1907-, Vol. 1-, Weekly.
- Physical abstracts: Science abstracts series A, London, Institute
of Electrical Engineers, 1898-, Fortnightly.