Patent protection prevents others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling a patented invention in the United States or importing the invention into the United States.
Patent protection is, after all, a two-edged sword. On the one hand, the promise of exclusive rights provides monetary incentives that lead to creation, invention, and discovery. On the other hand, that very exclusivity can impede the flow of information that might permit, indeed spur, invention, by, for example, raising the price of using the patented ideas once created, requiring potential users to conduct costly and time-consuming searches of existing patents and pending patent applications, and requiring the negotiation of complex licensing arrangements. At the same time, patent law's general rules must govern inventive activity in many different fields of human endeavor,with the result that the practical effects of rules that reflect a general effort to balance these considerations may differ from one field to another.
↑Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., 566 U.S. __, 132 S.Ct. 1289 (2012) (full-text).
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