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.


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Graphene: 200 Times Stronger Than Steel, 1,000 Times Lighter Than Paper

This is one 'supermaterial' that might actually live up to its hype. So what is graphene really, and why is it so versatile?

New Liquid Magnets Go Places Solid Magnets Can't

Magnets have always been solid, but scientists have now created a material that's both liquid and magnetic, able to change shape and adapt as necessary.

Turning Air Pollution Into Ink

The pollution produced by cars, trucks and factories can be recycled as ink, cleaning the air of dangerous particulate matter and turning it into a useful product.

Robot Revolution: Coming to a Restaurant Near You

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.

Is the Age of Laundry-folding Robots Nearly Upon Us?

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

Moth Eye Structure Inspires Glare-resistant Screen Coating

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

How Shrimp Shells Help Wounds Heal Faster

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

Mobile MIT Robot Can 3-D Print Entire Building Structure in Hours

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.

Newly Created Transparent Wood Could Change How We Build

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.

Whey to Go: Behold the Power of Cheese, Literally

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

When should you contact a patent attorney?

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.

What exactly is a patent?

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?

What is a provisional patent?

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.

How to File a Patent

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.

How to Do a Patent Search

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?

How Patent Infringement Works

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?

What does a patent agent do?

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.

How hard is the patent application process?

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.

How do copyrights and patents differ?

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.