In patent law, the act or operation of finding out something new; the process of contriving and producing something not previously known or existing, by the exercise of independent investigation and experiment. Also the article or contrivance or composition so invented. Smith v. Nichols, 88 U.S. (21 Wall.) 112, 22 L.Ed. 566; Hollister v. Mfg. Co., 113 U.S. 59, 5 S.Ct. 717, 28 L.Ed. 901.
Invention is a concept; a thing involved in the mind; it is not a revelation of something which exists and was unknown, but is creation of something which did not exist before, possessing elements of novelty and utility in kind and measure different from and greater than what the art might expect from skilled workers. Pursche v. Atlas Scraper & Engineering Co., C.A.Cal., 300 F.2d 467, 472.
The finding out-the contriving, the creating of something which did not exist, and was not known before, and which can be made useful and advantageous in the pursuits of life, or which can add to the enjoyment of mankind. Not every improvement is invention; but to entitle a thing to protection it must be the product of some exercise of the inventive faculties and it must involve something more than what is obvious to persons skilled in the art to which it relates. Mere adaptation of known process to clearly analogous use is not invention. Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. v. U. S. Rubber Co., C.C.A.Ohio, 79 F.2d 948, 952, 953.
Inventive skill has been defined as that intuitive faculty of the mind put forth in the search for new results, or new methods, creating what had not before existed, or bringing to light what lay hidden from vision; it differs from a suggestion of that common experience which arose spontaneously and by a necessity of human reasoning in the minds of those who had become acquainted with the circumstances with which they had to deal. Hollister v. Mfg. Co., 113 U.S. 59, 5 S.Ct. 717, 28 L.Ed. 901.
Invention, in the nature of improvements, is the double mental act of discerning, in existing machines, processes or articles, some deficiency, and pointing out the means of overcoming it.
For examination of invention, see examination.
See also patent

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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