Definition of patent noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

BrE BrE//ˈpætnt//
 
, also BrE//ˈpeɪtnt//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈpætnt//
 
[countable, uncountable] an official right to be the only person to make, use or sell a product or an invention; a document that proves this to apply for/obtain a patent on an invention The device was protected by patent.
Word Origin late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin patent- ‘lying open’, from the verb patere. The noun sense is from letters patent.Extra examples Edison took out a patent on the light bulb. Genetically engineered plants can be protected by patent. In 1843 Bain filed a patent for his fax machine. In 1995 he was granted a patent for his invention. The item is Patent Pending No. 11092001. a leading authority on patent law
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: patent