An invention is something which is new (non -obvious) and can be based on an idea, but not every idea can be patented. Typical inventions involve new machines, products and industrial processes, or improvements to any of these. When a patent is granted, the invention becomes the property of the inventor.
Like other forms of property, a patent can be licensed or assigned. Patents grant territorial rights, therefore a United Kingdom patent will only give rights in the UK to stop others from manufacturing or importing the patented products into the United Kingdom.
The maximum life of a UK patent is generally 20 years from the date of application as long as it is kept in force by regular annual payments.