Children's, Intermediate and Advanced Online English Dictionary & Thesaurus

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letters patent a government-issued document granting a person a patent or exclusive right to sell or otherwise profit from an invention or process.
patent ambiguity in law, the uncertainty that exists when the language used in a document can have more than one meaning.
patent leather leather that is treated in a formerly patented process to achieve a hard, glossy, usu. black finish.
patent medicine a medical preparation that is protected by a trademark and that may be purchased without a prescription.
patent office in the U.S. government, an agency of the Department of Commerce that administers the patent and trademark laws; Patent and Trademark Office.
patent right an exclusive right conferred by a patent, esp. to manufacture and sell an invention.