New Inventions

New inventions are thought up all the time but very few of them are ever produced and sold. Capitalizing on a new invention requires a bit of know-how. In this section we'll examine how new inventions become new products.

Robots are starting to show up in the restaurant industry, but their developers say they're designed to work alongside human workers, not replace them.

It's not quite a robot butler, but two companies hope their real-life appliances will cross one tedious laundry chore off your list.

Scientists have created a nano-sized anti-reflection film inspired by moths' eyes, potentially making electronic screens easier to read in bright sunlight.

With antimicrobial resistance a worldwide threat, researchers develop a new antibacterial dressing using the shells of crustaceans.

Nearly every second, an elderly person falls in the U.S. A lightweight exoskeleton designed to kick in when a senior trips or slips could remedy this common problem.

MIT has created a system capable of 3-D printing the basic structure of an entire building, cutting time and money costs — with an eye on Antarctica, and even Mars.

Swedish researchers have figured out how to take the color out of wood and make it 85 percent transparent. It's part of a trend of new see-through materials.

Dairy waste product gets second life as biogas in — where else? — France.

Got a great idea? Want to make sure no one else steals it and profits from it? Call a patent attorney as soon as you can -- after you do a little homework, that is.

If you think you're on the brink of inventing the next big thing, you might need to protect your design and get a patent. But what does a patent do?

Even though it's not even really an application, filing a provisional patent application can give you a head start as you begin the process of protecting your invention.

You don't have to be Thomas Edison to come up with a valuable invention. But you do have to be savvy enough to protect that invention if you want to make the money that you deserve from it. In other words, you need a patent.

Patents are legal documents that protect your ideas and inventions, but in order to stake your claim, you first need to figure out what has already been patented. What does a patent search involve?

There's a lot at stake when it comes to developing and selling a great idea, which is why companies are always on guard against cases of patent infringement. When it occurs, they often wind up in court. But what is it exactly?

The difference between a marketable invention and an unusual paperweight can come down to whether the inventor has received a patent on a prized idea. But getting a patent is a tricky business. It's helpful to have the assistance of someone who knows the ins and outs of the process. Enter the patent agent.

You're convinced you have a great, marketable idea, but you're also aware someone could steal the idea if you don't have a patent. It's time to investigate the process of protecting your invention.

Because the definitions of ideas, expression, production and publication can get fuzzy, the difference between copyrights and patents might be a little confusing to some.