Difference Between Discovery and Invention in tabular form

The difference between Discovery and Invention is the first step in categorizing the difference between the two. It is important to know what the exact difference between the two is so that you can categorize discovery and invention into two separate entities. Discovery can be defined as the recognition of something that already exists as something new. Discoveries usually occur when something has been found for the first time ever.

A patentable invention (section 1 Patent Act) is a:

  • commercially applicable,
  • new,
  • non-obvious method for
  • technical action, i.e.
  • an instruction on the use of controllable natural forces with regard to direct achievement of a causally clear result.

Patents are therefore granted for inventions, which are new, relate to inventive activity, and are commercially applicable.

Since invention and discovery appear to have similar meanings, but as it is not so, it is important to know the difference between invention and discovery. You invent something that did not previously exist. You discover something that existed but was not found before or not known until then. The physicist invents a transistor where as a biologist discovers the molecular structure of DNA. By inventing something, you would have thought upon it and put it into that form. You discover something that was already there, but you have come upon it with a view to finding it out. Now, let us explore these two words, invention and discovery, further.

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What does Invention mean?

Invention is the noun of the verb invent. According to the Oxford dictionary invent means, “create or design (something that has not existed before); be the originator of.” Therefore, invention means as mentioned before, creating something that was not in existence before.

By inventing something, you create a product that was not existent on earth before. Invention is purely original in the sense that it is the result of your brain work. Your experimentation has resulted in the invention.

Invention does not necessarily involve exploration. Invention amounts to creation. Alexander Graham Bell created the telephone. People still came to know about it when the announcement was made that Bell invented it.

It is essential to know the differences between the two. The invention can simply be defined as the creation of something new through one’s knowledge, hard work, and skills. Unlike discovery, the invention is the fabrication of something new entirely that can have its own uses and functions in the modern world. Understanding the history of transportation will give you a key insight into the stages of invention.

Difference Between Discovery and Invention


The act of finding or exploring something new that has not been found before is termed as Discovery. Discoveries are usually natural occurrences and are usually present until discovered by somebody. Discovery involves the process of exploration of the world around us. Discovery cannot be patented. Discoveries usually occur by accident.


The act of creation or designing of an object or a service that has not been found before is termed as an invention. Inventions are man-made or scientific occurrences of objects that exist due to the willpower and creation of human beings. The invention involves the process of experimentation. An invention can be patented by its creator. invention usually occur in the process of creation.


  • A discovery pertains to detecting something new. An object of discovery was already existent prior to the actual discovery.
  • An invention is an original concept or thing that did not exist prior to actual invention.
  • A discovery pertains to natural occurrences, while an invention – to man-made artifacts, tools, processes, etc.
  • Discovery and invention work hand in hand. Inventions are an integration of things that have already been discovered, and new discoveries can be made through the help of inventions.

The subject of this paper is a singularly appropriate one for this journal. We are all experts on the topic of scientific discovery, invention, and development. Members are elected to the National Academy of Sciences because they have been adjudged to have done some creative thinking that led to one or more significant discoveries, inventions, or applications of scientific ideas.

A discovery is recognizing and making people recognizing something that already exists for the first time that nobody has found before. While invention is creating something completely new with one’s ideas and development.

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