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INOVATION AND IP- ENLARGING THE CIRCLES

עודכן: 29 ביולי 2021

Rachel Pasher Eijkeaar, Adv.

Human’s instinct to innovate can be named an “Innovation Bone”, similar to the “Funny Bone” describing humor.

Innovation starts with an individual’s idea. Even if the idea is based on or it originates from existing knowledge- the idea by itself is the trigger for the innovation.

Encouraging individuals to innovate is the key to enlarging the circle of innovators, thus adding to the cumulative effect of innovation for all.

Investment in “idea mining”, within new groups of potential innovators, will create for the investors a limitless potential, as far as innovation and creation of Intellectual property.

The key is obviously to cover more promising ideas with potential for success, in a least cost- thus increasing the chances of lucrative profits.


Innovation- always starts with an individual’s idea

Innovation can be defined as “something newly introduced, such as a new method or device”

) http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/innovation(, but Innovation can also be defined as the opportunity for any individual to improve their life and their surroundings.

Innovation brings to mind “big” players – such as IBM, Apple, Microsoft, GOOGLE, Facebook, the pharmaceuticals and more. These are a made of a cluster of individuals, using and developing their own ideas or ideas bought from others.

Brain storming, group effort and sharing information are essential tools to ignite the creation and development of innovation. Yet, there is always a spilt of a moment when in one person’s brain, an idea is formulated.


From learning how to harness fire all the way to the advanced technologies we enjoy today –

It all started with an individual’s idea.

The next extraordinary innovation will be created by an individual-somewhere in the world.

There are groups of individuals that are expected to innovate- for example- engineers, scientists, artists, philosophers and more. Yet- there is a need to open the way for other groups of individuals – that are not yet affiliated with any organization (private or public) - that have ideas- that might be brilliant, but have no knowledge, skills or abilities to advance them in any way.


The “Innovation Bone”- coupled with knowledge for all

We are probably born as innovators. Babies and young children are innovative and unpredictable. Babies invent original ways to crawl, to communicate, and to reach things that make him curious.

Older children and later young adults and adults are still creative – although their

“Innovative Bone” often is hidden or dormant as they become part of schooling or working systems that demand many times to conform to it than to be inventive within it.

Still, the instinct or “Bone” of innovation is never lost. The simple challenges of everyday life alone are a source of innovations and inventions.

Examples are easy to find in social media, and private web sites- from advice on children’s education, to health, to recreation, to maintenance of homes- and even to homemade scientific experiments.

There is constant rise of innovation created by a growing amount of people.

There is also a vast amount of knowledge disseminated via the internet, of technology, science, and all other disciplines- that makes it possible for more people not only to learn but to also to think of new and innovative ideas – as a result of the access to the knowledge.

The abundance of the private innovations and ideas is clearly noticed all over the net.

Innovations- as “open source” or as Intellectual property

The internet has allowed many of these everyday tips/innovations to be shared. Most questions regarding the most trivial everyday challenges can be answered with a search on GOOGLE- resulting with instructional YOUTUBE videos of private people that have encountered the same challenges or questions, and have found innovative ways to solve them.

For those innovators that use the web, it is a great tool with a great potential. From Blogs, facebook pages, and twitter accounts that can attract advertisers to YouTube channels that can generate –with large volumes of viewers- very generous revenues.

But, even for the entrepreneurial innovators and inventors - this “open source” has its limitations, that intellectual property and the connection with large marketing forces can help overcome.

Lack of assets and connections to affluent organizations and people, make the transition of a great innovative idea into protected Intellectual Property, very difficult and at times almost impossible.

Just as an example, In the EU- “it currently costs on average EUR 5 655 (or EUR 5 565 if the application is filed online) to take a patent application through to the grant stage” http://www.epo.org/service-support/faq/own-file.html .

Assuming that each person has a unique mind, it is close to impossible to figure out how many brilliant ideas are lost – for the lack of ability to share, sell of disseminate them.

Nourish the “Innovation Bone” to include more innovators

Encouragement and nourishment is needed, to keep the “Innovation Bone” growing and working,.

From education at a young age, throughout the schooling years, through the academia, innovation should be encouraged.

All organizations should acknowledge and reward the innovative instinct.

From the smallest organizations - families - to the larger ones - schools, universities and working places:

1. Develop and encourage curiosity and self-study, using the smart phones, tablets, home computers ( less time wasted on self-indulgence with social media and pop culture).

Engage young people and adults in learning- using educational web sites, popular science, YouTube and many more tools that make learning fun that can compete with gossip and selfies.

2. Allow the individuals within educational and working places - with in a clear framework of rules and agreements- to “do their own thing”- and enjoy credit for it.

Encouragement should include more than just applause, but also practical and tangible support.

There are already many programs that encourage innovation.

WIPO- the World Intellectual Property Organization has set a goal to promote awareness of Intellectual property and disseminate IP around the world- http://www.wipo.int/ip-outreach/en/tools/. WIPO offers data bases, training tools, seminars and courses – many free online.

A new Intellectual property tool is WIPO PROOF (https://wipoproof.wipo.int/wdts/)- that alows a low cost system for the innovator- providing her/him with digital proof of filling an electronic file with them on a certain date. This file can include any Trade Secret, Udea, Work , patent in the making etc. etc.

Examples of encouraging innovation by children: http://developingchild.harvard.edu/keyconcepts/innovation/ (Education innovation center in Harvard U.)

http://creativity.org/about/ (A museum for creativity in San Francisco)

http://www.cde.state.co.us/choice/innovationschools (Colorado state innovation programs for children)

Examples of publicly funded programs around the world , promoting innovation:

In the USA Government propelled innovation-

In the EU programs-

Examples of private organizations promoting private innovation:

https://www.imaginecup.com/competition/17193 (Microsoft corporation Innovation competition)

Low cost tools for innovators

More public programs encouraging individual innovators, public and private ones, should be developed and offered to the public, including improved tax benefits that promote innovating. Prize driven competitions, within cities and other public organizations such as public health facilities, public education and more. Workshops, courses, idea data banks, or other tools and means of encouraging individuals to innovate should be used by each public organization- treating them as places that can become better. Opening platforms for input of ideas to the public, allows them to share innovations and inventions, without any glass ceilings. The ideas can be offered publicly or can be send directly to the public organization- so that if there is any IP to be awarded- there will be an opportunity to use the IP tools (as patent Registration) before the idea goes public.The WIPO PROOF IP tool is a great new way to ecorage innovators.

Innovative business models offering both the individual innovator and the company they work for or that they offer the innovative idea to, tools for innovation to share the fruits of innovation.

Electronic tools- software, apps and cognitive computing(IBM’s WATSON for example), that can guide and help the individual innovator- should be further developed and dissaminated.

All of these tools will effectively help include more individuals in the innovative circle, and encourage them to keep on using their “innovation Bone”, only if they will be friendly to use and not costly.

There are very effective and helpful existing tools.

For example, inventors with low income, can apply to the PRO BONO program of the USA Patent office for assistance (http://www.uspto.gov/inventors/proseprobono/index.jsp). One example of a web search is of the key words: “software for inventions”. That search alone resulted in thousands of results. These present many businesses that offer smart and friendly ways to start the journey- from an idea- to an intellectual property asset. Many of them are referrals to professional patent firms, others offer kits to start the process of protecting the idea.

The problem for a large number of private innovators is the cost of working with these businesses at early stages of the idea and innovation. Many innovators do not meet the “low income” to enjoy public funding offered through public programs.

As a result, many ideas (some might have the key for saving the world), stay locked I the minds of their inventors.

Open platforms- allowing anyone to pitch their idea- publicly or in a discrete way- can be become idea banks that will allow the expension of the innovation pool.

LORD of the INNOVATION

The number of potential innovators is so enormous, that investing in their advancement can prove to be extremely beneficial to anyone that will choose to do so. The added value will be the innovation and advancement of human society- hopefully for the better.

Those that will invest in tools ( corporations or any finacialy powerful idividuals), such as easy to use apps, or software or friendly welcoming low cost business models, or open market platforms - stand a chance to become LORDS of INNOVATION - thus being in the frontier of “out of the box” private innovation- and enjoying its unlimited scope.

Given the brain potential of so many undiscovered (yet) innovators- the sky might be the limit- for those that will be involved in the idea mining, innovation and its benefits.

Rachel Pasher Eijkenaar, Adv.

Knowledge,IP, Innovation Lawyer

Writen October 2018

Updated August 2020



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