A land patent is a form of letters patent assigning official ownership of a particular tract of land which has gone through various legally pro-scribed processes – such as surveying and documentation, followed by the letters signing, sealing, and publishing in public records – made by a sovereign entity ‘the Crown’. A land patent and letters patent is permanent It is the highest evidence of right, title, and interest to a defined area. It is usually granted by a central, federal, or state government to an individual, partnership, trust or private company. The land patent is not to be confused with a land grant. Patented lands may be lands previously granted by a sovereign authority in return for services rendered or accompanying a title or otherwise bestowed gratis, or they may be lands privately purchased by a government, individual, or legal entity from their prior owners. "Patent" is both a process and a term. As a process it is somewhat parallel to gaining a patent for intellectual property, including the steps of uniquely defining the property at issue, filing, processing, and granting. "letters patent" is known in law, and usually issues to the original grantee and to their heirs and assigns forever. The patent stands as supreme title to the land because it attests that all evidence of title existent before its issue date was reviewed by the sovereign authority under which it was sealed and was so sealed as irrefutable; thus, at law the letters patent itself so becomes the title to the land defined within its four corners. In practice, the "irrefutability" of counter-claims is relative; however, once a patent is granted permanence of title is established.