What is a patent and how does it help a company?

A patent is a set of rights conferred by an authority for a limited period of time in recognition for uniqueness and usefulness of an invention to the society.

Patent provides the rights to block others from making, using, selling or offering for sale, and importing an invention. Companies can use the patent rights to attain monopoly over the invention to the extent covered by the rights and therefore gain competitive advantage in the relevant technology field over other players in the market. Patent gives a company 20 years to exploit the invention exclusively, from the date of initial filing.