Letters Patent

Letters patent (no singular form exists) are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch or president, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation. They are so named from the Latin verb pateo, to lie open, exposed, accessible. They are called thus from their Latin name litterae patentes long used by mediaeval and later scribes when such documents were written in Latin, expressed in the plural, in the ancient sense of a collection of letters of the alphabet arranged to be read rather than in the modern sense of the word as an "epistle" or item of correspondence; thus no singular form exists.

Letters patent can be used for the creation of corporations or government offices, or for the granting of city status or a coats of arms. A particular form of letters patent has evolved into the modern patent granting exclusive rights in an invention. Clearly in this case it is essential that the written grant should be in the form of a public document so other inventors can consult it to avoid infringement.

The opposite of letters patent are letters close (Latin: litterae clausae), which are personal in nature and sealed so that only the recipient can read their contents.

Read more about Letters PatentUsage, Form of Royal Proclamations Post 1992, Proforma British Letters Patent

Other articles related to "letters patent, letters, patent":

Court Of Common Pleas (England) - Structure - Justices
... the 14th century, Justices were appointed via letters patent made under the Great Seal, and held their appointments "under the pleasure of the King" ... to be Serjeants-at-Law, and were appointed by letters patent ... who would inform him of his new position the letters patent would then be read out in court, and the new justice would swear an oath to do "justice without favour ...
Proforma British Letters Patent
... The form of letters patent for creating peerages has been fixed by the same statutory instrument ... organises the pro forma text from the letters patent by columns for each rank, with common text spanning multiple columns, depicting some of the similarities and differences among the proclamations ... In Witness whereof We have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent ...
Clerk Of The Crown In Chancery
... of royal documents such as warrants required to pass under the Royal Sign Manual, fiats, letters patent, etc ... All formal royal documents (such as warrants to be signed by the monarch letters patent, both those that are signed by the Queen herself and those that are ... a warrant that approves the draft text of letters patent, directs that they be prepared and authorizes them to be sealed and issued or by the Sovereign directly signing the letters ...
List Of Lord Mayoralties And Lord Provostships In The United Kingdom - Lord Mayoralties (England and Wales)
... Lord mayoralty Year dignity granted Notes England Birmingham 1896 Letters patent dated 3 June 1896 ... Confirmed to metropolitan borough by letters patent dated 25 June 1974 ... Bradford 1907 Letters patent dated 16 September 1907 ...
Rowell V. Lindsay
... Lindsay and William Lindsay, the appellees, to restrain the infringement of reissued letters patent No ... cultivator.' The answer of the defendants, among other defenses, denied infringement of the letters patent ... The plaintiffs contended that infringement of their letters patent was made out by the evidence, which tended to show that the defendants constructed and sold ...

Famous quotes containing the words patent and/or letters:

    This is the patent age of new inventions
    For killing bodies, and for saving souls,
    All propagated with the best intentions.
    George Gordon Noel Byron (1788–1824)

    How do we know, then, when a code’s been cracked? ... when we are right? ... when do we know if we have even received a message? Why, naturally, when, upon one set of substitutions, sense emerges like the outline under a rubbing; when a single tentative construal leads to several; when all the sullen letters of the code cry TEAM! after YEA! has been, by several hands, uncovered.
    William Gass (b. 1924)