What is a Patent?
Simply, a patent is a property entitlement bestowed by the United States and numerous other nations that gives the carrier the exclusive right to prohibit others from production, use or sale of the invention.
Patent property rights may be sold, delegated, mortgaged, licensed, willed or donated to anyone at the consent of the owner. Thus, the owner, alone, has the opportunity to profit by manufacture, sale or use of the invention in a protected market.
If another individual or corporation infringes or encroaches upon the property right, the owner has a license to file suit.
What is GATT?
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is a treaty that has substantially altered the process worldwide in two major areas.
First of all, patent ownership changed from first to invent to first to legally file for protection. This measure encourages swift disclosure by the inventor, eliminates shady and "less than legal" patent claims, speeds the arrival of technology to the market and empowers the inventive to produce.
Secondly, the patent term changed from seventeen years after patent awarded to twenty years from the date of patent application. This promotes rapid technological advancement, prevents patent continuation during development and empowers the inventor and developer through economic incentives.