A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. To get a patent, technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the public in a patent application.
Patents provide an incentive for companies or individuals to continue developing innovative products or services without the fear of infringement. For example, large pharmaceutical companies can spend billions of dollars on research and development. Without patents, their drugs and medicines could be duplicated and sold by companies that didn’t research or invest the needed capital for R&D.
In other words, patents protect the intellectual property of companies to help their profitability. However, patents also serve as bragging rights for companies demonstrating their innovativeness.