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Woman wearing a hat
Though you cannot patent a new fashion style, you can patent a new kind of material or a new way to manufacture clothes

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Mary Kies Became the First Woman to Receive a U.S. Patent
May 5, 1809

What if you come up with a great idea for a new invention? The Good-Hair-Day Hairspray, the perfect spiral football, a backpack that flies you to school. To protect your new invention, you would get a patent. A patent is a government grant that gives the inventor the exclusive right to make, use, or sell an invention, usually for a limited period. Nowadays it's 16 to 20 years in most countries. Patents are granted to new and useful machines, manufactured products, industrial processes--such as Kies's method of weaving--and significant improvements of existing processes. Patents encourage entrepreneurs, like weaver and hat maker Mary Kies, to create new and better products all the time.
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