Invention vs Innovation

  • Invention involves creating something entirely new, such as the first light bulb or telephone.

  • Innovation, on the other hand, is finding a new application or improvement for an existing creation.

  • Invention - Formulation of new ideas for products or processes

  • Innovation - Practical application of new inventions into marketable products or services

Main types of innovation

  • Product innovation
    • Launching new or improved products
  • Process innovation
    • Finding better or more efficient ways to produce existing products or delivering existing services

Product innovation

  • Advantages
    • First mover advantage can mean:
      • Higher prices and profitability
      • Added value
      • Opportunity to build early customer loyalty
      • Enhanced reputation as an innovative company
      • PR coverage
      • Increased market share

Process innovation

  • Advantages
    • Reduced costs
    • Improved quality
    • More responsive customer service
    • Greater flexibility
    • Higher profits

Entrepreneurship vs Intrapreneurship


  • Entrepreneurial activity by entrepreneur
  • Rewards go to entrepreneur
  • Risk taken by entrepreneur


  • Entrepreneurial activities taken by employees and managers
  • Rewards (mostly) go to the company
  • Risk taken by company

Ways to encourage and facilitate intrapreneurship

  • Structured time away from work to allow employees & managers to develop business ideas
  • Build cross-functional teams to lead innovation projects
  • Secondment of staff to smaller businesses or startups
  • Staff competitions and innovation days (such as hackathons)

Why protect Intellectual Property

  • Keep control of intellectual property
  • Maintain unique selling point
  • Maximise return on investment
  • Reduce threat of competition


  • To be patent protected, the invention must be:
    • New
    • An innovative step (not obvious to others with knowledge of the subject)
    • Capable of industrial application (can be made and used)
    • Not be excluded (certain inventions don’t count, such as scientific theories and artistic creations)
  • Important protection for many industries including media, design and publishing
  • Protection is automatic for any original work
  • Lasts for 70 years after authors death
  • Can control how copyrighted work is exploited (eg, license, royalties)
  • Widely used as a way of protecting creative work of all kinds