Research Affairs / 
What is an Invention?


An Invention is any process (way of doing or making things), machine, manufacture, design, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, or any variety of plant, which is or may be patentable under the patent laws of the United States through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The following are all examples of inventions/innovations that should be protected:

  • An invention that has been "reduced to practice" (see Patents)

  • Written or published work in any media form (book, article, software, artwork, photography, music, motion picture, website) (see Copyrights)

  • A “Brand Name” that distinguishes your innovation from others in the market (see Trademarks)

  • “Know-how” of doing something not generally known and of potential value (see Trade Secrets)

See also Frequently Asked Questions about the Technology Transfer Process