invention,n. Patents.1. A patentable device or process created through independent effort and characterized by an extraordinary degree of skill or ingenuity; a newly discovered art or operation.
• Invention embraces the concept of nonobviousness. [Cases: Patents 16(1). C.J.S. Patents § 68.] 2. The act or process of creating such a device or process. 3. Generally, anything that is created or devised. — invent,vb.
“The truth is, the word cannot be defined in such manner as to afford any substantial aid in determining whether a particular device involves an exercise of the inventive faculty or not. In a given case we may be able to say that there is present invention of a very high order. In another we can see that there is lacking that impalpable something that distinguishes invention from simple mechanical skill. Courts, adopting fixed principles as a guide, have by a process of exclusion determined that certain variations in old devices do or do not involve invention; but whether the variation relied upon in a particular case is anything more than ordinary mechanical skill is a question which cannot be answered by applying the test of any general definition.” McClain v. Ortmayer, 141 U.S. 419, 427, 12 S.Ct. 76, 78 (1891).
“An ‘invention’ is any art, machine, manufacture, design, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, or any variety of plant, which is or may be patentable under the patent laws. [37 CFR § 501.3(d).]” 60 Am. Jur. 2d Patents § 894, at 601 n.98 (1987).
abandoned invention.An invention that an inventor has either deliberately stopped trying to exploit, or else acted in a way that precludes claiming the invention in a later patent. • Under § 102(c) of the Patent Act, abandonment bars a patent on that invention. But abandonment of an imperfect form of an invention does not bar a patent on a later-perfected form. Unless publicly known, an abandoned invention is not prior art to a later inventor. Under § 102(g) of the Patent Act, abandonment of the same invention by a first inventor also prevents the first inventor from blocking the second inventor’s patent application in an interference. Cf. ABANDONED APPLICATION.
distinct invention.One part of an invention that can be used on its own, and the absence of which will not prevent the remainder of the invention from working. • When the subject matter of a patent application is found to be multiple distinct inventions, the examiner requires the inventor to restrict the application to a single invention. See RESTRICTION(4). Cf. independent invention. improvement invention.A nontrivial and nonobvious betterment of an existing device or process. • The improvement may be patented, but the protection applies only to the improvement, not to the invention improved on.
independent invention.An invention that bears no relation to another invention, esp. to another invention covered in the same patent application. • A single patent may not cover multiple independent inventions; the applicant must elect one and drop any others from the application. See RESTRICTION(4). Cf. distinct invention.
new-use invention.Discovery of a new use for an existing invention. • As long as the new use
is nonobvious — and actually useful — it may be patented. 35 USCA §§ 101–102.
small invention.See UTILITY MODEL.
software-based invention.A device or machine that uses innovative software to achieve results. • A software-based invention, process, or method may qualify for a patent, but the physical components and the underlying software are usu. not separately patentable.
[Blacks Law 8th]