Failure to fully develop the invention

In general, an invention is a solution to a problem that benefits society. On the contrary, an idea is not an invention but is simply an abstract concept for solving a problem and falls short from describing the actual mechanisms on how to implement the idea.

For example, let’s imagine a scenario where an 8-year old has convinced himself after watching his favorite cartoon that he has come up with an idea for a flying saucer. The boy’s dad, excited about his son’s invention, contacted a patent attorney on his son’s behalf. A competent patent attorney, most likely, would have communicated to the dad that his son merely has an idea but not an invention.

To be sure, the Patent laws in the United States render a test to determine whether a patent application provides enough detail for others to carry out the invention. This test provides that a “person having ordinary skill in the art” should be able to read the patent and carry out the invention. A person having ordinary skill in the art is a fictional person considered to have the normal skills and knowledge in a particular technical field and need not be an expert. A person having ordinary skill in the art should be able to carry out the invention upon reading the disclosure.