The Law Dictionary

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INVENTION Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & Citations:

In patent law. The act or operation of finding out something new; the process of contriving and producing something uot previously known or existing, by the exercise of independent investigation and experiment. Also the article or contrivance or composition so invented. See Lei- dersdorf v. Flint, 15 Fed. Cas. 200; Smith v. Nichols, 21 Wall. US, 22 L. Ed. 50(1; llol- lister v. Manufacturing Co., 113 U. S. 72. 5 Sup. Ct. 717, 28 L. Ed. 901; Murphy Mfg. Co. v. Excelsior Car Roof Co. (C. C.) 70 Fed. 495. An “invention” differs from a “discovery.” The former term is properly applicable to the contrivance and production of something that did not before exist; while discovery denotes the bringing into knowledge and use of something which, although it existed, was before unknown. Thus, we speak of the “discovery” of the properties of light, electricity, etc., while the telescope and the electric motor are the results of the process of “invention.”


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