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letters patent

plural noun, Law.
a written or printed instrument issued by a sovereign power, conferring upon a patentee some right, as the exclusive right to land or the exclusive right to make, use, and sell an invention for a limited time.
Origin of letters patent
1350-1400; Middle English Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for letters-patent

letters patent

plural noun
See patent (sense 6)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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