patent (

     adj 1: (of a bodily tube or passageway) open; affording free
            passage; "patent ductus arteriosus"
     2: clearly apparent or obvious to the mind or senses; "the
        effects of the drought are apparent to anyone who sees the
        parched fields"; "evident hostility"; "manifest
        disapproval"; "patent advantages"; "made his meaning
        plain"; "it is plain that he is no reactionary"; "in plain
        view" [syn: apparent, evident, manifest, plain]
     n 1: a document granting an inventor sole rights to an invention
     2: an official document granting a right or privilege [syn: {letters
     v 1: obtain a patent for; "Should I patent this invention?"
     2: grant rights to; grant a patent for
     3: make open to sight or notice; "His behavior has patented an
        embarrassing fact about him"