Our firm welcomes and usually makes no charge for the first conversation 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.

Since about 1991 I’ve been developing a proprietary glossary of terms relevant to intellectual property. This resource and our work helps clients improve their intellectual property.

Case study – a fountain and a painting

All human beings have a creative urge. Mine for some months has been to write about the following video on YouTube [edit: a 2021 version]. 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. Fountain design engineers have synchronising water pressure, direction and movement to Khachaturian’s music.

2021 edit: Another example of creativity is Norik Dilanchyan’s “Black Hole Experience” painting featured in this post. Yes, we are relatives, he in Los Angeles, me in Sydney.

Innovation, novelty and creativity are slippery terms.

  • The fountain and the painting are not mere innovations. The term’s most useful synonym is “change”.
  • Yet the fountain and the painting are also not sufficiently novel (in patent law terms) to be legally an invention capable of patent registration.
  • However, due to their creativity some copyright 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. Norik Dilanchyan’s painting is certainly protected by copyright law. He gave me his permission to use it.

Call us to discuss your issues and thinking

Why are definitions in text important? Because without them it is not possible to define, describe, market and commercialise your creations. There’s a lot of rubbish written, particularly about how to unleash innovation. Posts in Lightbulb aim is to build intellectual property literacy.

Depending on WHAT you have we’ll suggest different ways to improve and protect it.

Your call might be about any of the following four different types of innovation, invention or creativity:

  • an entertainment product, service or market – eg a 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, website, mobile app, unique database, or teaching materials; and
  • a product or service – eg food or beverage label, wholesale or retail business, professional services business or other business service.

We’ve dealt with hundreds of business ventures in each of the above categories. 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 Khachaturian inspired by Armenian folk music, Bellagio fountain engineers inspired by Khachaturian, and Norik Dilanchyan inspired by abstract expressionism.

Noric Dilanchian