English Dictionary

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patentable (ˈpætəntəbəl) 



  1. (law) able to be patented

patent (ˈpætənt Pronunciation for patent ; ˈpeɪtənt Pronunciation for patent



    1. a government grant to an inventor assuring him the sole right to make, use, and sell his invention for a limited period
    2. a document conveying such a grant
  1. an invention, privilege, etc, protected by a patent
    1. an official document granting a right
    2. any right granted by such a document
  2. (in the US)
    1. a grant by the government of title to public lands
    2. the instrument by which such title is granted
    3. the land so granted
  3. a sign that one possesses a certain quality


  1. open or available for inspection (esp in the phrases letters patent, patent writ)
  2.  (ˈpeɪtənt Pronunciation for . obvious   ⇒ their scorn was patent to everyone
  3. concerning protection, appointment, etc, of or by a patent or patents
  4. proprietary
  5. (esp of a bodily passage or duct) being open or unobstructed
  6. (biology) spreading out widely   ⇒ patent branches
  7. (of plate glass) ground and polished on both sides

verb (transitive)

  1. to obtain a patent for
  2. (in the US) to grant (public land or mineral rights) by a patent
  3. (metallurgy) to heat (a metal) above a transformation temperature and cool it at a rate that allows cold working
The pronunciation (ˈpætənt) is heard in letters patent and Patent Office and is the usual US pronunciation for all senses. In Britain (ˈpætənt) is sometimes heard for senses 1, 2 and 3, but , (ˈpeɪtənt) is commoner and is regularly used in collocations like patent leather

Derived Forms

ˈpatentable adjective
ˌpatentaˈbility noun

Word Origin

C14: via Old French from Latin patēre to lie open; n use, short for letters patent, from Medieval Latin litterae patentes letters lying open (to public inspection)

Example Sentences Including 'patentable'

'In practice, this means if it solves a technical problem, such as controlling a piece of hardware, the software is patentable.
Glasgow Herald (2001)
But successive governments have failed to amend the Patents Act to make products (and not only processes) patentable.
India Today (1997)
Confusion reigns as to whether computer implemented inventions are patentable in Europe.
Irish Times (2002)
Mr. Schwartz sees more trouble for gaining agreement on what is patentable.
Globe and Mail (2003)
The AMRC opposes the granting of patents on stretches of genes, as these constitute discoveries and are therefore not patentable.
Times, Sunday Times (2004)


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