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Define Your Invention

Ask yourself the following questions to brainstorm keywords that may be used in patent searching. It may help you identify features of your invention that are different from what other patents claim, and may help you communicate your invention effectively to an attorney, technology transfer team, or prototype designer if needed.

For example:

This invention changes the image on the outside of a mug when the mug is warmed up by hot liquid like coffee.

  • What is the purpose of the invention?
    • The purpose of the invention is to change the graphic on the outside of the mug.
  • Is it a process or product?
    • The mug is not a new invention. I want to protect the way the heat changes the graphic on the outside of the mug. This is a process
  • What is the invention made of?
    • When the mug is heated, it is the thermochromic ink that allows the graphic to react to the thermodynamic change.
  • How is the invention used?
    • The changing image conveys information that the mug is full or empty and whether the remaining liquid is hot or has cooled.
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