Many people feel that inventions are important to society. They are required for progress and must be protected from unanticipated uses that could harm mankind. “Inventions are created for the general welfare” – axiom 20 of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
What exactly are inventions? An invention is simply the original creation of something that did not exist before. It may be an art product, a useful device, a machine, a chemical compound, or an invention of some sort.
A number of people believe that a patent is necessary for inventions. However, this is a misconception because patents cannot be patented. patents only protect the idea or design, not the substance or form. Thus, in reality, the inventor will receive support and credit for their invention, but they will not be able to obtain a monetary compensation for their invention.
In fact, many innovators choose not to file for a patent. Instead, they disclose their inventions to others so that they can pursue legal action against those who violate their rights. Unfortunately, many large companies do just that. They hide inventions in computer files, business plans, marketing strategies, and employee files until there is a need to pursue litigation. Sometimes it takes decades before a company actually obtains a patent application from a foreign nation. One should not therefore consider the patenting process as an essential step in the invention process.
It may be argued that all forms of inventions are creations. This is true, but inventions must still pass a critical test before they become patentable. That test is whether the invention actually discloses a new idea, new process, new method, or a new product. For example, the electric chain saw is not considered an invention because it simply moves the work piece that was already invented. It also does not reveal a new process for cutting down longer pieces of wood.
Many times inventors will not disclose their inventions until the public begins to demand that they do. Some examples of great inventions include the telephone, radio, and computer. These inventions changed the way we communicate with one another. Thomas Edison is perhaps the most important example of this.
Other examples of great inventions include the washing machine and the automobile. Both of these inventions changed the way we lived our lives. Thomas Edison’s electric light motor is responsible for the creation of many lighted houses and we would not be in the same position without the electric motor. There are many other inventions that have changed the world for the better. Some examples of these include the personal computer, laptop computer, cellular phone, television, and internet.
The invention does not have to involve the previous inventions. Patent lawyers must determine if an invention is indeed an invention. They also have to look at the surrounding law to see if there is support for the claim of an invention. Once the patent is issued, the inventor has the right to bring suit in court to obtain a trial before the U.S. Patent Office.
There is no magic potion that guarantees your invention will result in a patent. Patents are a Constitutional right and should never be infringed. You have to demonstrate to the patent office why your invention is new and not obvious in view of what others have done previously. This may take many years of research and development to do. If you do happen to come up with a new invention then the law allows you to bring suit against the others who have already made or attempted to make copies of your invention. This means they cannot patent the way they have patented before.