Encyclopedia of Creativity, Invention, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

2013 Edition
| Editors: Elias G. Carayannis

Patent System

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3858-8_506



The patent system grants and enforces temporal exclusive, transferrable, and licensable private rights on inventions – that provide solutions to (mostly) technical problems in the area of products and processes – in exchange for disclosure of the invention to the public at a level that can be understood by a person skilled in the art.

In order for an inventor to receive such a right, the invention typically has to meet three criteria: (1) The invention has to be new, i.e., after search there is no prior art found, (2) There is an inventive step or non-obviousness to the idea, i.e., new prior art is created that required a flash of genius or long toil thus advancing technical knowledge that others can build on (not so simple anyone could discover it), and (3) The idea has to be industrially applicable or useful – which excludes schemas as natural laws, mathematical formulas, and some military strategic inventions –...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Interdisciplinary Center for Experimental ScienceGeorge Mason UniversityFairfax CountyUSA