Not all creative and good ideas are inventions.
An invention presents a new and surprising solution to a problem.
An invention can be applied in practice.
An invention is a new device or method or an improvement to an existing one.
An invention can also be based on applying an existing technology in a new way.
In other words, inventions meet current needs or solve a particular problem. Some inventions arise from clear current demand, whilst some can be ahead of their time upon their creation. Typically, inventions are created by curious, solution-oriented and determined people: inventors.
Some inventions can benefit a small group of people, whilst others can be useful to large masses. Some inventions can be utilised on a global scale and others are bound to a particular region or circumstance.
An invention can be a revelation that provides an excellent product idea, but an ingenious idea does not unavoidably lead to a successful product. What this means is that the quality of the invention does not guarantee commercial success. For the cash to start flowing in, the invention must be properly productised and commercialised. As such, inventors often opt to register their ownership to their invention but leave the commercialisation to other parties through licencing arrangements, for example.
A patent or utility model can be applied for an invention
If you feel you have come up with an excellent innovation or product idea, you can set out to develop it into a retail product or business idea independently or market the invention as a promising hit product. However, unless you have protected your idea with a patent or utility model, for example, it can be freely copied or imitated by others. You may find yourself in a situation where other companies make huge profits – with your idea.
If you do not protect the idea you are developing, you may also find that someone else has already patented the product when you prepare to launch your new product. In this case, the patent holder may demand you to withdraw your product from the market, rendering all your efforts wasted.
If you develop an idea for a new product in your mind or through your own business operations, you should find out whether or not the idea has what it takes to be considered an invention. The innovation experts of the Foundation for Finnish Inventions provide support and advice for determining whether or not this is the case. Even if you have never seen a product or service like the one you have developed, a similar one may already be on the market or under development. Utilise the databases and advisory services of the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) to find out if corresponding solutions, products, devices or methods exist, and whether or not they have been protected with a patent or utility model.
If you think you have made a genuinely new and promising invention, you should consider applying for a patent or utility model. For the invention to be eligible for a patent, it must meet the requirements pertaining to new products and services, inventions and industrial feasibility. The invention must fundamentally distinguish itself from known solutions. In addition, the new solution must be such that it is not obvious to an expert in the field.