Letters Patent

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Letters Patent

An instrument issued by a government that conveys a right or title to a private individual or organization, including conveyances of land and inventions.

Although Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the U.S. Constitution confers upon Congress the power to secure to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries, this constitutional clause is not self-executing. Rather, formal application for letters patent must first be made in the manner prescribed by statute (35 U.S.C.) and regulations (37 C.F.R.) promulgated pursuant thereto.

LETTERS PATENT. The name of an instrument granted by the government to convey a right to the patentee; as, a patent for a tract of land; or to secure to him a right which he already possesses, as a patent for a new invention or discovery; Letters patent are a matter of record. They are so called because they are not sealed up, but are granted open. Vide Patent.

References in periodicals archive ?
The letter patent was issued so the owners of the original Theatre Royal, on Mosley Street, could put on serious plays approved by the state.
The letter patent was the principal document through which the English monarch exercised ordinary and absolute royal prerogatives, that is, those rights inside and outside the common law.
In the letter patent, this is accomplished through the inscription of legal and patriarchal legitimacy; in the case of the "Compass," the play between the two historical figures depicted in the image (Louise and Francois) and the symbolic dolphin which fills out their number suffuse the scene with an air of preordained inheritance.
Under the 1737 Licensing Act only theatres in possession of a letter patent - those which became Theatre Royals - were allowed to put on serious plays and even these had to be passed by the Lord Chamberlain.