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Patents and inventions, while related (in that the former describes the latter), are orthogonal instruments. A patent is merely a legal document that entitles its bearer to an argument. Although it might contain an invention, this isnt absolutely necessary. Whether it does is generally the subject of the (aforementioned) argument. Thats what lawyers are for. On the other hand, an invention is an abstract instrument created by the mind, and in the (nascent) information age, machines can also create.
Date of Publication: May-June 2005