A patent for an invention is granted by government to the inventor, giving the inventor the right to stop others, for a limited period, from making, using or selling the invention without their permission.

When patent protection is granted the invention becomes the property of the inventor, which like any other form of property or business asset can be bought, sold, rented or hired. Patents are territorial rights: UK patents will only give the holder rights in the UK and rights to stop others from importing the patented products into the UK.