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Notary Bulletin

Hotline Tip: What Is A Patent?

NNA Hotline Tips For NotariesSome signers mistakenly believe that notarizing blueprints or other documents describing an invention will provide the same intellectual property rights as a patent. However, notarization merely establishes the identity and willingness of the signer.

A patent is a property right granted by the federal government to an inventor that prevents "others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States," according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Anyone seeking a patent should be referred to a local patent attorney or the USPTO at 1-800-PTO-9199 or at www.uspto.gov.

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