6 Little-known Facts About Inventing And Patenting

Source: patentnext.com

Last year alone, there were more than 15 million patents issued all around the globe. People from all over the world try to create something that is going to bring them fame and fortune, and that is going to make the world a much better place for everyone who uses that patent. In this article, we are going to talk about some of the little-known facts about inventing and patenting.

1. You don’t have to have a degree to become an inventor

When it comes to inventing and patenting, the number one question that many potential inventors have is if their education matters. Ultimately, it does not matter if you have a Ph.D., or if you just finished high school for you to become an inventor. Some people that are highly educated do not have the point of view to be able to become inventors, and at the same time, people with little to no education at all are capable and creative enough so that they can notice when something is missing in the world, and they can design a solution for problems that we may not even know we have. What this basically means is that if you have an idea, it does not matter what your background or your degree says. You should learn more about what it takes to become an inventor and see what you can do to patent your invention.

2. Even children can be inventors

Source: wonderopolis.org

Many of the best inventions we know and use nowadays have been created by children. The youngest inventor in the world was just five years old when he invented the “Sleeping Device With Two Heads”.

The snowmobile, the popsicle, the swim flippers, the Christmas lights, the earmuffs, as well as the Braille, were invented by children. Their ages vary between 6 and 16 years old, and all of these children created something without understanding that their patent is going to make such a big difference in the world as we know it. This means that if your child is interested in creating something that does not exist, or if they want to upgrade something and make it better, you should let them, and who knows maybe they’re going to become the next big inventor.

3. There is no limit to how many inventions you patent

Source: entrepreneur.com

Another interesting fact is that there is no limit to how many patents you create, and how many inventions have your name on them. If you have ideas, and if you want to try and perfect the world, there is no limit to how many of them you can patent. Some of them may end up being extremely important, others may end up bringing you millions, while there are also going to be those inventions that just are not interesting for the grant audience, or they don’t make any necessary addition.

Shunpei Yamazaki is said to be the person who has the most inventions to his name, however, sources do not agree on what the number actually is. They range between 9000 and 12000, and no matter which number is correct, one thing is for sure, that is a pretty big number for just one person.

Thomas Edison was another big inventor and he had more than 1000 patents to his name. The light bulb is one that we all know about, however, he left his mark in fields, and improved many of the things that we still use today.

4. You don’t have to start from scratch

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

One of the biggest concerns that people who want to invent something have is how to start from scratch. Many of us believe that it’s only possible to invent and patent something if we create something out of nothing. It can be pretty difficult to think of an item that does not exist and to come up with a solution awful problem that we don’t even know how to approach.

You should know that you don’t always have to start from scratch, and you don’t need to focus just on creating things that don’t exist. Even Edison did not invent the light bulb, he perfected something that existed a few decades before, and he made the item better, more durable, and more practical.

So, if you have an idea of how you can improve something, how you can make it better, cheaper, or more accessible for others, you can patent it. You don’t always have to start from nothing, and you can just find an item that you think could be improved, and find a way to do that.

5. The patent law was first introduced in the 1400s

Source: patentrebel.com

Historians and experts alike suggest that inventions and patents existed thousands of years ago. There are some records that show that the ancient Greeks had their form of inventions and patents, however, there were no laws when it comes to this up until the 1400s.

The first patent law was put into effect in the late 1400s. That practice moved to the United States about two hundred years later, in the middle of the 1600s, when Joseph Winslow received his patent for a salt device. Ever since then, the law for patents and inventors spread across the globe, and now people in every country can submit their application for a patent, and become recognized inventors.

6. There is no such thing as a silly or useless patent

Many new inventors are afraid that their patent is just going to be something silly or that their invention is going to be ridiculed. One thing that you have to remember is that there is no such thing as a silly or useless patent. Even when we think back on the biggest inventions in the world, including the telephone, the vacuum cleaner, the television, or even the Internet, when they were first introduced and when they were first talked about, they sounded silly, impractical, and maybe even useless.

Every time you feel that what you’re creating he’s just not going to be accepted, look at all the things around you. Try to imagine how it would be to explain those items to people that have never even imagined them before. That way, you will see that just because something does not make sense right now, it does not mean that the world doesn’t need it.

7. The Role of Prior Art

“Prior art” is a term that inventors and patent applicants will encounter frequently during the patenting process. It encompasses all publicly accessible information, technology, or inventions that bear a resemblance to the innovation in question. This could include earlier patents, research papers, product manuals, or even news articles. When an individual or organization submits a patent application, the patent office meticulously combs through existing prior art. The objective is to assess if the proposed invention truly presents something novel and non-obvious.

An essential part of the patent application process involves demonstrating how the invention differs from existing prior art. This distinction is crucial. If the patent office deems that an invention is simply a minor tweak or an obvious extension of existing technology, the patent might be denied. Therefore, applicants need to highlight the uniqueness of their invention, focusing on the aspects that set it apart from what’s already out there. Having a unique idea in your mind? We have additional info for you.

8. The Importance of Timing

In the realm of invention and intellectual property, timing isn’t just important—it’s often everything. Most countries operate on a “first-to-file” patent system. This means that the patent rights are granted to the first person who files an application for a particular invention, irrespective of who might have conceptualized or worked on the idea first.

This approach emphasizes the urgency. Inventors must be prompt in documenting and protecting their innovations. If two inventors come up with a similar idea, the one who delays could find themselves without any rights to their invention, even if they were the original creator.

9. International Patents

Given the global nature of commerce and technology, safeguarding an invention in just one country often isn’t enough. While a patent granted in the United States, for instance, provides protection against unauthorized use within its borders, it offers no shield against copying in other countries.

To navigate this, inventors turn to international patent systems. The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) stands out as a pivotal agreement in this context. Under the PCT, inventors can file a single international application, which can then serve as the basis for patent protection in over 150 countries. This streamlines the process and provides a more efficient pathway for those looking to protect their innovations on a global scale. To push forward a global idea you need to check here first.

10. Maintenance and Fees

Once a patent is granted, the journey isn’t over. Like a plant that needs water to thrive, patents require maintenance in the form of periodic fees. Patent holders are obligated to pay these fees at regular intervals to keep their patents active and enforceable.

The specifics—how much to pay, when to pay, and the consequences of non-payment—vary depending on the country and the type of patent. For instance, some countries might offer grace periods, while others may have strict deadlines. Missing these fees or deadlines can result in the patent lapsing, leaving the invention unprotected.

11. Trade Secrets vs. Patents

Choosing between patenting an invention or keeping it as a trade secret is a strategic decision. While patents offer legal protection, they also require the inventor to disclose the details of their innovation, and they come with a limited lifespan—usually 20 years from the filing date.

Trade secrets, on the other hand, remain protected as long as they remain secret. This could be indefinitely. For instance, the recipe for Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most recognized beverages, has remained a trade secret for over a century. However, the downside is that if a trade secret is independently discovered or reverse-engineered, there’s no legal recourse. The decision between these two routes depends on the nature of the invention, the market dynamics, and long-term business strategies.

When creating your invention, there are some important steps that you need to follow. You should always do your research and make sure that your invention is not already patented. If you think about becoming an inventor, make sure that you collaborate with professionals that are going to make your life much easier and that are going to help you patent your invention faster. Even if you fail the first time, and even if your invention does not make you rich, that does not mean that the next one will not be something that changes your life as well as the world.