A patent is an exclusive right granted by a government to an inventor that allows him or her to prevent others from making, using, selling, or importing an invention.
The invention can be a product (a towel), a composition (a chemical substance used in fabrics for a towel), an apparatus (a machine for making towels), a process (a method of making towels) or an improvement to any of these.
The Canadian Intellectual Property Office explains that searching patent documents can help you:
Key resources can be found below. For more resources and details on patent searching, contact your librarian or see the Patents Research Guide.