INNOVATION IN PRODUCT DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT
In product development, innovation is the process of creating value through the application of novel solutions to meaningful problems (1).
WHEN TO INNOVATE
Innovation, or the need for novel solutions, should be justified. Examples include avoiding blocking intellectual property, enabling a new technology, miniaturization, or a new implementation that improves performance. If no such rationale for innovation exists, then the responsible approach may be to integrate rather than innovate.
As a general rule, integration yields incremental value. To create a significant increase in value – for both the end user and the client – innovation is almost always required.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CREATION
The qualifications for patentability of an invention are a useful metric of a teams ability to innovate.
- The subject matter of the invention must be consistent with statutory requirements
- The invention must be new (novel)
- The invention must be useful
- The invention must be non-obvious
Thus, the number of patents awarded to an engineering team is a good measure of the ability of that team to innovate. NOVO’s staff are named inventors on hundreds of U.S. utility patents. Our clients rely on our ability to innovate to solve technical problems and build their intellectual property portfolios.
- Credit for this concise and practical definition of “innovation” comes from Digintent, a business consulting firm, and it applies directly to innovation in the product development process.