The Role of Inventors in the 21st Century

Inventors create products, processes, and ideas that are useful and practical. They provide new ways to heal, communicate, play, and move. They help us live longer and healthier lives. They also give us new ways to learn. And they keep companies in business.

Many of the world’s greatest inventions were the product of trial and error. Often, the most prolific inventors will file a few dozen patent applications during their lifetime. But the idea behind an invention becomes public property once it is patented. And so, it is important for policymakers to address inequities that suppress the development of inventors.

The term “innovation” has become a buzzword in the business community. However, the term is not necessarily synonymous with the word “invention.” It depends on the value of an invention to the user. If an invention is not innovative enough, it will be overtaken by innovations that offer real-life value. Inventors must overcome existing market dominance and dislodge their ideas from the status quo.

The most successful inventions are the ones that solve a problem or satisfy a need. For instance, a new attachment method for swings may be an inventive solution. It is obvious to the manufacturer that a different attachment method is better for a swing. But the inventor has to be able to earn money from the idea.

The 19th century was a period when numerous scientific discoveries made it possible for numerous people to be able to create an invention. A few of the notable inventors include Samuel Morse, Alexander Graham Bell, and Charles Goodyear. Each of these men developed a commercially successful invention.

The development of a telegraph, for example, was a result of several people working together. Samuel Morse, for example, created the Magnetic Telegraph Company and launched the first commercial telegraph line in the US. The telegraph was affordable and efficient, allowing it to be used to revolutionize communication.

The development of the radio was the result of technological advances that followed scientific discoveries by Marconi and Lodge. These two men followed scientific work done by James Clerk Maxwell and other scientists in the 19th century.

Another example is the invention of the microprocessor, which allowed personal computers to be more functional. It was as small as a thumbnail, could manage data, and could be programmable. It was a big step in paving the way for the personal computer.

Other examples of successful inventions are the internal combustion engine, a process that releases heat energy. The company that developed it, DuPont, also invented nylon and Kevlar. The automobile, meanwhile, has a long history of development. There were dozens of spin-off industries involved in making the car. And the Sony company made a name for itself selling cheap radios that use transistors.

Inventions can be patented, which allows the inventor to earn money for a limited time from the invention. In order to be patented, the invention must be novel, non-obvious, and useful. It must not have been previously published, and it must not be made publicly available before the date of application.