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NEOWatcher
2010-Feb-12, 03:06 PM
Probably another catchall thread.
So many times I see "invention" in the news where I think "design" should be the word.
But; as all other words, I'm sure there's a wide variety of perceptions of the word "invention"

Today;
'Saving lives' with solar-powered lights (http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/02/11/cnnheroes.wadongo/index.html?hpt=C2)


Men, women and children sing and gather around as he shows how his invention -- a solar-powered LED lantern -- will soon light up their homes.
...
The group has helped reduce production costs to $20 per lantern.

I think it's a great thing that thier doing, but the solar power lantern exists. With a quick google, the first link I clicked (http://www.solarilluminations.com/acatalog/Solar_Indoor_Lighting___Portable_Light_Systems.htm l) found what sounds like the same thing for $20 retail.

Fazor
2010-Feb-12, 03:09 PM
Without reading the article, I thought the same thing (that this already existed). In fact, I have one hanging from my deck. I doubt we paid much more than $20 for it either. I doesn't work very well though, maybe his works better.

danscope
2010-Feb-12, 04:07 PM
We should hope that a "journalist" would know the difference between a
genuine invention , and a design application.
Just because you put jimmies, peanut butter and macadamia nuts on your strawberry icecream doesn't make an invention. It is a design, whose merits
vary with the individual. :)

Best regards,
Dan

Fiery Phoenix
2010-Feb-12, 04:09 PM
Many people don't really care how they use language these days anyway.

NEOWatcher
2011-Aug-01, 07:43 PM
Sigh... another writer that has no clue about everyday science, and a person taking advantage of it.

Granite Shoals man makes H2O out of air (http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/business/granite-shoals-man-makes-h2o-out-of-air?hpt=us_bn5)

That is because he invented a machine that makes water out of the air.

LeBleu told KXAN moisture-laden air is pulled through the machine's generator, condenses it and then exhausts the purified air. The captured water is then filtered and is actually drinkable.
Purified air? You mean that the water is a contaminate?


LeBleu said the company likened his water to sterilized distilled water.
Maybe because that's what it is?


...not worried about how to water his lawn or water restrictions in our time of drought [...] It can produce five to seven gallons a day.
Must be a very small lawn.

He also claims $0.04 per gallon, but we have no clue what his electric costs.

grapes
2011-Aug-01, 07:48 PM
If you get a patent, it's an invention, right? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent

NEOWatcher
2011-Aug-01, 08:03 PM
Technically, and in context of patent? yes.
Nevertheless; even if I can ignore the use of "invention", the article still seems to think it applies it to the process, rather than just a new form of humidifier.

Fazor
2011-Aug-01, 08:24 PM
Don't have to worry about watering your lawn because it can produce five to seven gallons a day? What about when the air isn't "moisture laden", which is typically when your lawn needs water anyway?

novaderrik
2011-Aug-02, 02:51 AM
Sigh... another writer that has no clue about everyday science, and a person taking advantage of it.

Granite Shoals man makes H2O out of air (http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/business/granite-shoals-man-makes-h2o-out-of-air?hpt=us_bn5)


Purified air? You mean that the water is a contaminate?


Maybe because that's what it is?


Must be a very small lawn.

He also claims $0.04 per gallon, but we have no clue what his electric costs.

yay!! he invented a dehumidifyer!!! good for him.

grapes
2011-Aug-02, 08:03 AM
It's just the difference between "inventing the solar powered LED lantern" and "inventing a solar powered LED lantern" isn't it?

Don't get me started on marketing! I once invented an inexpensive stabilizer for human ambulation--I picked it up off the trail. I tried to patent it because mine had still had leaves, most don't and leaves come in very handy on the trail. :)

profloater
2011-Aug-03, 06:55 PM
Invention used to be a good accurate word, and a patent was examined to see if it was a new idea but now patents are easily granted if you want to pay the fees and it is left to lawyers to fight out the valuable ideas, sadly that means patents are now a rich man's area and the results tend to go with the money and not with the intellectual property. Design is more complex I think because it is used so many ways. Designers like to say it is a wholistic approach to both function and form and not forgetting materials and production processes. I hope no one thinks design is just adding an appearance spin to a working prototype from an engineer. The word innovator is more current but the original invention "breathing life into" should still be a good word and a noble activity!

tlbs101
2011-Aug-03, 07:34 PM
As an engineer I design electronic circuits. I would not call myself an inventor for most of what I do, because I simply take previous working designs and tailor them to the task-at-hand. Most of these previous designs, while company proprietary, are not even patentable.

There have been a few times over 30 years when I have come up with some innovation that greatly improves on the previous designs. Some of these may, or may not be (have been) patentable. I don't care to find out and neither does my company (or past companies for which I have worked).

Now, on the other hand, I have actually invented and constructed a device that allowed me to single-handedly move an evaporative cooler from the bed of my pickup truck to the roof of my house and then onto the roof where it was to reside. I consider this device to be patentable and I still may file for a patent, someday. I may even build some of them for sale on E-bay or the like. This is a case of; necessity is the mother of invention.

My late wife came up with an idea for a device to aid manicurists (nail technicians) and another idea for a Vetranarian aid which she actually constructed and tested on our own pets (absolutely no harm was done in testing of the animals). Again, in a case of; necessity is the mother of invention, two very good inventions come from ideas (intellectual property). I actually performed about 16 hours of patent searches on these two items (fortunately Albuquerque/University of NM has a regional patent library, so it was easy to gain access).

In the case of these two inventions and my cooler-hoist-thingy, whoever can mass-market them first will be the only one to gain from them. Patents are probably not necessary. But, I still might apply for the patents anyway (especially, since my new wife is an attorney).

Jim
2011-Aug-04, 04:51 PM
About 15 years ago, our son was given a 4th grade class assignment to "invent" something. I was having problems with improper back support at the time (chairs, car seats, etc.), so he came up with a portable lumbar support... a foam rubber cylinder wrapped in fabric with Velcroed straps. His teacher looked at it and declared it a worthless concept.

A few years later I saw that same "worthless concept" being sold on TV. Classier design, but the same idea.

I always wondered...

profloater
2011-Aug-04, 04:59 PM
As an engineer I design electronic circuits. I would not call myself an inventor for most of what I do, because I simply take previous working designs and tailor them to the task-at-hand. Most of these previous designs, while company proprietary, are not even patentable.

There have been a few times over 30 years when I have come up with some innovation that greatly improves on the previous designs. Some of these may, or may not be (have been) patentable. I don't care to find out and neither does my company (or past companies for which I have worked).

Now, on the other hand, I have actually invented and constructed a device that allowed me to single-handedly move an evaporative cooler from the bed of my pickup truck to the roof of my house and then onto the roof where it was to reside. I consider this device to be patentable and I still may file for a patent, someday. I may even build some of them for sale on E-bay or the like. This is a case of; necessity is the mother of invention.

My late wife came up with an idea for a device to aid manicurists (nail technicians) and another idea for a Vetranarian aid which she actually constructed and tested on our own pets (absolutely no harm was done in testing of the animals). Again, in a case of; necessity is the mother of invention, two very good inventions come from ideas (intellectual property). I actually performed about 16 hours of patent searches on these two items (fortunately Albuquerque/University of NM has a regional patent library, so it was easy to gain access).

In the case of these two inventions and my cooler-hoist-thingy, whoever can mass-market them first will be the only one to gain from them. Patents are probably not necessary. But, I still might apply for the patents anyway (especially, since my new wife is an attorney).
I have applied for many patents and one reason is that the process is an excellent discipline. In a patent you have to distill what is the basic new idea in its most general stated form. The early draft will have a statement like "I claim a mousetrap in which....., but then you realise there is a more general case...I claim a trap...and so on, and when you have that, you can check if anyone has the same claim already.

Fazor
2011-Aug-04, 05:27 PM
His teacher looked at it and declared it a worthless concept.
Did he actually tell your son it was worthless? That's a heck of a way to teach fourth graders. I'm a smart . . . alec . . . though. I probably would have replied "Sure. Doesn't mean it can't make money. After all, there's worthless teachers and they still get paid." ;)

NEOWatcher
2012-Sep-06, 04:11 PM
Poway Man Invents Eco-Friendly Lawn Mower (http://www.10news.com/news/31408158/detail.html?hpt=us_bn10)

It's a regular reel push mower with bigger wheels.

Go to thier website, and it explains nothing except how much more eco friendly and cheaper it is than a gas or electric... duh.

Just another reporter that doesn't know the difference between news and advertising.

mike alexander
2012-Sep-06, 05:39 PM
Poway Man Invents Eco-Friendly Lawn Mower (http://www.10news.com/news/31408158/detail.html?hpt=us_bn10)

It's a regular reel push mower with bigger wheels.

Go to thier website, and it explains nothing except how much more eco friendly and cheaper it is than a gas or electric... duh.

Just another reporter that doesn't know the difference between news and advertising.

Hilarious. The one I used as a kid was about a quarter the size and built from castings that would have supported an automobile.

NEOWatcher
2012-Nov-27, 08:34 PM
Boca boy, 11, invents toy of the year (http://www.wpbf.com/holidays/Boca-boy-11-invents-toy-of-the-year/-/17029528/17557582/-/5hiyrw/-/index.html?hpt=us_bn8#ixzz2DRSAQzTr)

I took my mom's MP3 player and there was a hole in my teddy bear," Georges said.
From there, he and his parents created a bear that talks, tells stories, plays music and records your voice.
I might buy one and name it Teddy Ruxpin.

Solfe
2012-Nov-27, 09:26 PM
Remember the debate over what Apple would call their new tablet computer? "Slate" was one of more popular names. I wonder if the fact that people have written on slates or still use braille slates prevented them from claiming patents.

SeanF
2012-Nov-27, 10:40 PM
Remember the debate over what Apple would call their new tablet computer? "Slate" was one of more popular names. I wonder if the fact that people have written on slates or still use braille slates prevented them from claiming patents.
So they went with "pad" instead?

Durakken
2012-Nov-28, 10:50 AM
A design is invented as much as the invention itself is and thus a design or redesign is still an invention.

And a patent can be gotten even if you didn't invent the thing nor invent the design of the thing... All it takes is to look at the iPad to know that... so I wouldn't claim the iPad is an invention, but a device...

NEOWatcher
2012-Nov-28, 01:33 PM
A design is invented as much as the invention itself is and thus a design or redesign is still an invention.
I can understand what you're saying because it's technically correct. But; how do you distinguish a new concept from a re-done old concept?
When every new product on the market becomes an "invention", it really loses it's meaning.

Solfe
2012-Nov-29, 03:54 PM
So they went with "pad" instead?

Eh... I didn't think of that. (?)