An invention is a unique or novel device, method, composition or process. It may be an improvement upon a machine or product, or a new process for creating an object or a result. An invention that achieves a completely unique function or result may be a radical breakthrough. Such works are novel and not obvious to others skilled in the same field.
Some inventions can be patented. A Patent legally protects the intellectual property rights of the inventor and legally recognizes that a claimed invention is actually an invention. The rules and requirements for patenting an invention vary from country to country, and the process of obtaining a patent is often expensive.
Another meaning of invention is cultural invention, which is an innovative set of useful social behaviors adopted by people and passed on to others. Invention is also an important component of artistic and design creativity. Inventions often extend the boundaries of human knowledge, experience or capability.
Famous quotes containing the word invention:
“When she asked him about birth control, he sat down beside her and talked for half an hour about what a great woman Margaret Sanger was and how birthcontrol was the greatest single blessing to mankind since the invention of fire.”
—John Dos Passos (18961970)
“Correspondences are like smallclothes before the invention of suspenders; it is impossible to keep them up.”
—Sydney Smith (17711845)
“Art is an invention of aesthetics, which in turn is an invention of philosophers.... What we call art is a game.”
—Octavio Paz (b. 1914)