A patent protects your invention.
A patent for an invention is a grant of rights by the U.S. Government through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patent grant excludes others from making, using, or selling the invention in the United States. The terms "Patent Pending" and "Patent Applied For" are used to inform the public that an application for a patent has been filed. Patent ownersip does not start until the actual grant of a patent. Marking of an article as patented, when it is not, is illegal and subject to penalty.