What is the legal status of a patent?

Patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by an official Patent Office. The term of a new patent is generally around 20 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed. Patents are effective only within the jurisdiction of the Patent Office by which the patent was issued. The right conferred by the patent grant is in general a negative right, which is often defined as a right to “exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention or “importing” the invention into the area of jurisdiction.