6.931 Development of Inventions and Creative Ideas

Spring 2008

Drawing of an electric lamp and filament from Thomas Edison's U.S. patent, January 27, 1880.
Drawing of Thomas Edison's electric lamp patented on January 27, 1880. (Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.)

Course Description

This course examines the role of the engineer as patent expert and as technical witness in court and patent interference and related proceedings. It discusses the rights and obligations of engineers in connection with educational institutions, government, and large and small businesses. It compares various manners of transplanting inventions into business operations, including development of New England and other U.S. electronics and biotechnology industries and their different types of institutions. The course also considers American systems of incentive to creativity apart from the patent laws in the atomic energy and space fields.


The instructors would like to thank Joanne Rines and Elijah Ercolino for their efforts in preparing this course.

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Prof. Robert Rines
Dr. Dedric Carter

Course Meeting Times

One session / week
3 hours / session