Innovation Glossary

New Product Development Glossary

There are currently 49 terms in this directory
The abstract of your patent application is a short summary (150 words or fewer) that communicates the essence of your invention. Abstracts are useful mainly for searching patent databases. You should write your abstract so that those with a background in the field can easily understand it.

Read our about Intellectual Property module for more details.

A structured innovation program format to speed-up and optimize the innovation process for a new venture to get to market in the shortest time and cheapest amount of investment.

An implementation workflow to enable quick iterations, as well as to move and adapt to changes fast, by embracing frequent reassessment and testing.

Application Fee

Filing a patent specification with the UK Patent Office (a.k.a. the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office or ‘UK IPO’) can be done with or without a fee. An initial application fee, or ‘filing fee’ initiates the formal application process and covers a check that all is in order with the application, but can be paid at any time within the first 12 months. Fees are explained on the IPO website, but feel free to contact us for more information.

Applied Research
Original investigation undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge directed primarily towards a specific practical aim or objective. The study and research is used in business, medicine and education in order to find solutions that may cure diseases, solve scientific problems or develop technology.

Basic Research
Experimental or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge of the underlying foundation of phenomena and observable facts, without any particular application or use in view.

Claims are what you are claiming to be novel and inventive about your concept; i.e. a definition of the monopoly you wish to obtain, and so this is the most important part of an application and the part the patent examiners will use to determine whether a patent will be granted. They're essentially the heart of a patent, in that they define the limits of exactly what the patent does, and does not, cover. That is, the patentee has the right to exclude others from making, using or selling, only those things which are described by the claims.

Commercial Demonstration
A demonstration, conducted following technology demonstration, aimed at proving that a product or process could proceed to commercial deployment.

Commercial Deployment
The condition under which a product or process can be profitably deployed by commercial enterprises regardless of whether public subsidies are involved.

The aim of commercialisation is to change the final product prototype into an innovative commercial product that can be launched onto the market.

Computer-assisted discovery
This uses a computer in order to widen possibilities of research and numeric possibilities.

Copyright is not a blanket term for intellectual property (IP). Copyright is not a patent, trademark, or registered design; it is instead limited to protection of ‘artistic works’ – i.e. literary, dramatic or musical works, and works of art or craftsmanship , typically those physical in nature. In Europe copyright protection is automatic, whilst in the US copyrights are filed in the Library of Congress. Requirements and eligibility for copyright can vary from country to country and upon the level of protection the filing party requires.

When you are funding your project through an online service such as kickstarter, indiegogo or others, the public contribute funds in small amounts to the project. Typically, rewards or equity stakes are awarded to funders depending upon the financial commitment. Crowdfunding is generally limited to the internet though other means may be available.

Demand Pull
Demand pull refers to market environments or emerging needs which incentivise innovative products or processes. It can refer either to emerging market opportunities or public sector policies and measures, including subsidies, designed to promote innovation. It is often linked to or used in dichotomy with technology push.

An activity that demonstrates the viability of a product or process

The use of a product or process for practical and/or commercial purposes.

Derivative idea
A method of innovation that involves taking something that already exists and changing it.

Systematic work, drawing on existing knowledge gained from research and/or practical experience, which is directed to producing new materials, products or devices, to installing new processes, systems and services, or to improving substantially those already produced or installed.

Widespread uptake of a product or process throughout the market of potential adopters

Early Deployment
The early use of a product or process for practical and/or commercial purposes. Corresponds roughly to an innovation.

Exclusive Licence
Where only one company (the ‘licensee’) has the rights to produce a product, to the exclusion of even the licensor.

Exit Factory
The cost of goods to the point where they are ready to leave the factory, includes all labour and non-labour production costs of the factory, including factory overheads, materials, labour, and profit.

Feedback R&D
R&D conducted to solve scientific or technical problems that arise when a product or process is being demonstrated or deployed.

Full-scale Deployment
Commercial deployment where a product or process has established a new market or has gained a material share of an existing market.

Incremental Innovation
An improvement in performance, cost, reliability, design etc. to an existing commercial product or process without any fundamental novelty in end-use service provision

New products and processes and significant technological improvements in products and processes. An innovation has taken place if it has been introduced on the market (product innovation) or used within a production process (process innovation). Depending on context, products and processes can be new or improved anywhere in the world, or new or improved in relation to a firm, a market or a country.

Innovation System
The system of actors, institutions, networks and processes that result in innovation taking place. Covers research, development, demonstration and commercial activities leading to deployment. Can be used in reference to countries, sectors or technologies. Formally, covers processes that lead to early deployment but can also be used in an extended sense to include processes leading to commercial or full-scale deployment.

A new scientific or technical idea, and the means of its embodiment or accomplishment. To be patentable, an invention must be novel, have utility, and be non-obvious.

Market Formation
Activities designed to create, enhance, or exploit niche markets and the early commercialisation of technologies in wider markets

Niche Markets
Application of a product or process in a limited market setting (or niche) based on a specific relative performance advantage (or on public policy incentives) and typically not exposed to full market competition.

Patent Classification
WIPO (the World Intellectual Property Organization) maintains an organisational system for patents and patent applications which have been published. Much like a library’s filing system, but the organisation is dependent upon the field of technology in which the invention sits. Functionality and the manner in which the invention will be presented (such as physical or digital format) may also play a key role in the classification.

Patent Description
A part of a patent specification. The description is a detailed written document which lays out the function of the invention, the problem that it solves, how it solves the problem, how it is made, as well as other crucial information about how a device according to the invention is different from other products on the market or previously known. The description can also include comparisons to existing products and how the invention differs from such patents and products currently available. Descriptions should be detailed enough to allow a skilled person to make the invention, but may allow for slight variations in design and innovation to shield from a competitor changing an aspect of the idea and producing or patenting for themselves. For example do not say that your product is made entirely of plastic. If a competitor uses say metal then they may be able to file a patent on the idea or produce in metal. Say instead that it is constructed of a durable and economical material which may comprise plastics, rubbers, synthetics, or metals.

Patent Drawings
Part of the patent application typically requires visual representation of the invention and how that invention functions. Drawings are a primary methodology for presenting these concepts. On filing, the drawings may be a bit primitive in nature, however the more detailed the the better. You may need to ‘formalise’ your drawings to meet standards of the patent office you are applying at. At such time 3D renderings may be needed to form the basis of different views.

Patent Examination
Usually a patent attorney or agent is extremely advised by this stage of a patent application process. During examination the applicant wants to persuade the examiner that the invention/project is worthy of gaining a patent, and attempts to get the broadest patent claims granted. Using an attorney can help broaden the range of protection in the patent claims, and confirm legal requirements and stipulations as well as look at foreign filings in light of the examination.

Philosophical idea
The philosophical idea lives in the mind of the creator and can never be proven. This type of idea however can still have vast residual effects. For example, the idea of eternal recurrence.

Pilot Project
Project organised and run with the principal purposes of obtaining experience and compiling engineering and other data

Problem solution
This is the most simple method of progress, where someone has found a problem and as a result, solves it.

An original model constructed to include all the technical characteristics and performances of a new product or process

Radical Innovation
A new product or process that strongly deviates from prevailing norms and so often entails a disruptive change over existing commercial technologies and associated institutions.

Creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society.

Research and Development (R&D)
Creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications.

Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D)
Collective term covering all three activities

Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment (RDD&D)
Collective term covering all four activities

Revolutionary idea
A revolutionary idea breaks away from traditional thought and creates a brand new perspective.

Serendipitous discovery
Serendipitous solutions are ideas which have been coincidentally developed without the intention of the inventor. For example, the discovery of penicillin.

Symbiotic idea
A symbiotic method of idea creation is when multiple ideas are combined, using different elements of each to make a whole.

Targeted innovation
Creating a targeted innovation deals with a direct path of discovery. This is often accompanied by intensive research in order to have a distinct and almost expected resolution. For example, linear programming.

Technology Demonstration
Prototype, rough example or an otherwise incomplete version of a conceivable product or future system, put together as proof of concept with the primary purpose of showcasing the possible applications.

Technology Push
Technology push is the process of pushing a technology on to the market through RD&D or production and sales functions. It can refer either to firm activities or to public sector policies and measures designed to promote innovation. It is often linked to or used in dichotomy with demand pull.

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