An inventor is a person who creates new inventions, typically technical devices such as mechanical, electrical or software devices or methods. Although some inventors may also be scientists, most base their work on the discoveries of other scientists, experimenting with practical applications and combinations of those discoveries, and with improvements and combinations of existing devices, to create new useful devices.
The system of patents was established to encourage inventors by granting limited-term monopoly on inventions that are judged sufficiently novel. This system is nowadays frequently considered as being abused, especially in the United States, and some have called for reform or even abolition of the patent system. In the U.S., however, the patent right originates from the Constitution, so inventors will likely continue to protect their inventions that way for many years to come.
The capacity to invent can be developed. See TRIZ, the theory of inventive problem-solving.
The word "inventor" comes form the latin verb invenire, invent-, to find.