An invention is simply a new thing created by man. It may be a new machine, process, method, design, or some other item. Inventors do not change the existing world around them, but rather add something to it. We must distinguish between invention and discovery.
A new invention is something invented and not an improvement upon something already available. (NOT TRUE) An improvement on something is a new development which alters or augments an item already available. (True) When an invention is made the object previously available changes shape but does not actually become new. The United States Patent and Trademark Office does not list any abstract inventions in the patent books.
The reason for this distinction is important. The reason is that inventors are given a long time to get their invention patented before their product can be sold. Patents provide protection from competition, the law, and from lawsuits. As soon as an invention is patented it becomes part of the public domain and no one can develop an equivalent product until it is patented. This gives the innovator several years to come up with new ideas and allows him to build a strong business case for his invention.
The problem arises when an inventor tries to sell his invention before the patent is granted. Unfortunately, many inventors have great difficulty locating prospective buyers because many potential buyers are entrepreneurs looking for quick profits. There is a very large number of potential buyers who are eager to invest large sums of money in emerging market sectors. For these inventors, the first step in securing a large market is to demonstrate to a large number of potential buyers that their invention is superior. To do this they must demonstrate their invention to be better than what they currently own or control.
How do inventors go about demonstrating their invention’s superiority? The most effective method is to file patent applications covering the new ideas. Many times it can be difficult to identify originality and many times the originality cannot be demonstrated due to other similar inventions. In this situation, the patent office may allow the patent application to cover an idea only if it can be proven that there are no other similar inventions in the current field. If there are many similar inventions in the field, the patent will still be denied but the patent application can be delayed until the other similar ideas become public.
It should be clear from the preceding description of how important it is for an inventor to secure a patent before submitting a patent application. The patent office can deny an application based upon an inventor’s failures to demonstrate that their invention is legally patentable. It is also critically important for an inventor to build a strong business case for their invention. While an invention may be legally patentable if it meets all of the requirements, it is not always necessary to have a legal basis for doing so. An inventive person may also want to hire a patent attorney to assist them in building a strong case.