A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Generally, the term of a new patent is 20 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in the United States or, in special cases, from the date an earlier related application was filed, subject to the payment of maintenance fees. This is FindLaw's collection of Patent articles, part of the Intellectual Property section of the Corporate Counsel Center. Law articles in this archive are predominantly written by lawyers for a professional audience seeking business solutions to legal issues. Start your free research with FindLaw.