Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Invention Definition:

Any new and useful art, process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter or improvement thereof.

Related Terms: Patent

Canada's Patent Act, circa 2011, at §2, defines an invention as "any new and useful art, process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement in any art, process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter."

In US v Dubilier, Justice Roberts of the Supreme Court of United States referred to the "peculiar nature of the act of invention":

"... which consists neither in finding out the laws of nature, nor in fruitful research as to the operation of natural laws, but in discovering how those laws may be utilized or applied for some beneficial purpose, by a process, a device or a machine. It is the result of an inventive act, the birth of an idea and its reduction to practice; the product of original thought; a concept demonstrated to be true by practical application or embodiment in tangible form."

Three separate cases of the Supreme Court of the United States have upheld this important additional rule of law:

"The mere aggregation of a number of old parts or elements which, in the aggregation, perform or produce no new or different function or operation than that theretofore performed or produced by them, is not patentable invention."1

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