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The company took out/filed a patent on a genetically engineered tomato.

The sentence are confused for me because of the highlighted verbs. There are their definitions (borrowed from the Cambrige Dictionary), related to the context:

to take sth out: to arrange to get something from a company, bank, etc.

As for me, the above proclamation may be then interpreted either as "the company sent all required documents to a suitable authority with intent to be awarded the patent in the future" or as it has received the patent already.

to file: to officially record something, especially in a law court.

It seems the meaning that the company has already received the patent is the most appropriate.

So how does these verbs shold be understood? Has the company got the patent on the genetically engineered tomato when a paper issues an article titled so or has it mere a patent pending?

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  • [So how should these verbs be understood?] Where did you see these? You should tell us. Take out is informal for file a patent.
    – Lambie
    Aug 2, 2020 at 14:41

1 Answer 1

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  • take out [some official document, like a passport etc. means to get or obtain]
  • file for a patent = the formal legal word used for the procedure for taking one out.
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  • When someone says "I took out/filed for a patent" do they mean "I have already got one" (i. e. they have received a positive response from the authority)? I am based on the premise that filling a patent application and being granted a patent are not the same things (for me it's akin to the difference between bringing a lawsuit vs passing a jugment on the case). So I wonder what's the option implyed here? Aug 2, 2020 at 17:32
  • @Mergasov It depends. The take out a patent can mean they have obtained it.
    – Lambie
    Aug 2, 2020 at 17:52
  • The answer I had been looking for. Is the same appropriate for "file (for) a patent": it just means "fille an application" without necessarily implying received "a positive answer", right? Aug 2, 2020 at 19:18
  • @Mergasov I just told you: take out a patent can mean you were successful OR it can mean you just filed it (did the paperwork). Is that clear now?
    – Lambie
    Aug 2, 2020 at 21:25
  • Yes, it is, thank you. Aug 2, 2020 at 21:33

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