Improve your creativity, invention, innovation

We welcome and make no charge for conversations with new clients about how we might help with their intellectual property. To get you into the groove to call, here are some thoughts on creativity, invention and innovation. We are tracking with Australia's 2020 Summit.

We can all be creative

All human beings have a creative urge. Mine for some months has been to write about the following four minute home video on YouTube. It's the Fountains of the Bellagio Hotel in Los Vegas. The music is Dawn, Ayeshe's Dance, a piece in the Gayane ballet by Aram Khachaturian. Observe the fountain's interplay with the music and then read on.


The video features the creativity of 21st century fountain design engineers synchronising water pressure, direction and movement to mid-20th century music by Khachaturian.

Innovation, invention, intellectual property - what's the difference?

It's not mere innovation, ie technically defined as merely "change". Yet it is also not sufficiently novel (in patent law terms) to be legally an invention capable of patent registration. However, some intellectual property protection may be available for the fountain "choreography" and if the music is still in copyright it would require permission, ie an intellectual property licence agreement.

Since about 1991 I have been developing a proprietary glossary of terms relevant to intellectual property and our work in helping clients improve theirs. I've found creativity, invention and innovation are three terms that are particularly slippery. See for example Innovation defined and redefined.

nude-descending-a-staircase-no-2-1912_marcel_duchamp Why are definitions important? Because without them we speak as illiterates. There's a lot of rubbish written, particularly about how to unleash innovation.

Our aim is to build intellectual property literacy. We want "To unleash the national imagination" and "To help fashion a national consensus around a common vision for the nation...".* These are Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's two justifications for the 2020 Summit. Take out the word "national" and it's exactly what we do in conversations with clients about their creativity, invention and innovation.

Call us to discuss your issues and thinking

It takes more than one conversation and developing a common understanding of key words is vital. Otherwise how can you have a conversation!

Depending on WHAT you have we'll suggest different ways to improve it. Your call might be about any of the following three different types of creativity, invention or innovation:

  • an entertainment product, service or market - eg a website, TV program, film, book, music or magazine;
  • a science or technology product, service or market - eg a mechanical or medical instrument, gizmo, or kitchen appliance;
  • an informational product, service or market - eg a training program, computer software, unique database, or teaching materials.

We've dealt with all of these. From that experience understanding has developed, particularly about the different legal and management services, contracts and documents clients require to improve their position.

Just as creativity, invention and innovation are not the same thing, so too the services we provide vary depending on needs. For example the terms and conditions in an intellectual property licensing agreement can be wildly different between different types of offerings and industries.

Call for inspiration, reach out to others as did Katchaturian inspired by Armenian folk music, Bellagio fountain engineers inspired by Katchaturian, and Marcel Dutchap inspired by cameras.



Kevin Rudd: Australia 2020 - Setting our Nation's Sights for the Future [Podcast from The Sydney Institute]

Graphic: Painting by Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase No 2, 1912.

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