A patent is a type of intellectual property that gives the creator of a new invention exclusive rights to its use and distribution for a set length of time. The government normally grants this protection for a term of 20 years from the filing date of the patent application. In exchange for this exclusive right, the inventor must publicly reveal the details of the invention, adding to the body of knowledge in their field. Patents can cover a wide range of inventions, such as procedures, devices, substance compositions, and technological advances. They allow inventors to profit financially from their innovations while also encouraging innovation by establishing a structure for protecting and rewarding new concepts.