1. what patent means?
A patent is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of time in exchange for publishing an enabling disclosure of the invention. In most countries, patent rights fall under private law and the patent holder must sue someone infringing the patent in order to enforce their rights. In some industries patents are an essential form of competitive advantage; in others they are irrelevant.
2. How intellectual property is protected?
a. Copyrights protect written and artistic works for the lifetime of the creator, plus 70 years.
b. Trademarks can protect words, phrases, symbols, and logos that identifies one's goods or services
c. Utility patents protect inventions of different kinds for 20 years.
d. Trade secrets are a form of intellectual property that your company may keep close and choose not to share with others. This could be to protect an economic advantage that might be lost should your trade secret become public knowledge or be stolen by a competitor.

3. when patent expires?
Generally speaking, the term of a U.S. utility patent begins on the date the patent issues and expires on the date that is 20 years from the date that the application was originally filed. For example, if a utility patent issues on January 1, 2022, based on a non-provisional patent application that was filed in the USPTO on January 1, 2020, the term of the patent begins on the issue date of January 1, 2022, and expires on January 1, 2040 – i.e., 20 years from the filing date of the application.

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