Innovation IP = Advanced Awareness – Roadblock Resistance
Invention, Innovation, Design Thinking, New Product Development which we are always thinking about when creating future use, are the cornerstone of breakthroughs, but protecting them effectively is rapidly diminishing due to the digital hurdles that now ensure that the fruits of such labor are immediately perishable and/or easily copied and/or outright stolen. Welcome to the world of Generative Design fueled by Ai. But what can innovators do?Patents and from the most recent issue of the famed Nature Magazine examine the most effective ways to protect intellectual property (IP) rights, and especially important in the world of lab-based research and development only become valuable when the cost of litigation is baked into every R&D effort by a patent and trademark protection model that incentivizes individuals and companies to invest said efforts upfront. With research and development the idea is that the product is the power, but by granting R&D and Innovation efforts the capability and resources ( read, cash, to protect said efforts ) only then do exclusive rights to inventions, IP, etc., allow firms to recoup efforts and reap the benefits when, in today’s design and advanced engineering world, a copy will exist the moment a product is made available for use or purchase, and sometimes even before if it is mentioned in any way in the outside world.
At the heart of many breakthrough innovations, and fueled by deign and design thinking, it is he problem-solving methodology itself that becomes the crucible to potential future human needs and experience driving ROI. Design thinking, a fully multidisciplinary approach, blends creativity, technical engineering capabilities, and user-centricity to create solutions that are not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing and emotionally resonant which although everyone in today’s world is well aware of, this also begs the question of how IP is leveraged for the sustainability of said efforts. This approach is especially effective in industries such as fashion, lifestyle ( home, family, etc., ) plus in automotive, and technology, where design drives shaping consumer preferences and ultimately market demand.
With breakthroughs not limited to design departments, design thinking practitioners and aesthetics focused team, along with user experience specialists who created the never ending bridges from expected behavior to future forward efforts, it ends up that design thinking / product capability quickly becomes the driver for advanced engineering thus the key component of new product development – a combination of ( in it’s most powerful form ) where advanced R&D efforts meet and exceed performance and safety standards push the boundaries of what is not even known yet to exist. It is here that the artist’s mentality begins to play an even larger part in the over all success of such efforts.
Design and innovation efforts speculating about future use is easily created with gathering around a table and giving themselves the creative oxygen and open space to explore the questions of tomorrow, designers with a keen capability to see what is available and where the direction is that a firm is going, means bridges between the present and the future are created. Imagining with hands, building to think, and blending strategic hunches with wild cognitive leaps, lab based efforts based on play and free association with a core sustainability component allow practitioners to slip past the rational mind and invite all the senses and capabilities of firms to drive breakthroughs. This practice of intentional play helps liberate thinking and allows what is initially not possible, to, be possible when intellectual property and functional production economics balanced with legitimate market demand capabilities are taken into consideration.
But what happens when these lab based R&D breakthroughs are realized as functionally usable or when forward deign efforts are pushed out to a broader audience? Can they be protected from being copied or stolen? In today’s world, not often without substantial further investment. With the advent of patenting and more importantly patent & trademark litigation, by granting the inventors/creators/firms of effort, exclusive rights to prevent others from making, using, selling, or importing the invention for a limited period of time it’s often that without litigation, there is no protection even when inventors and creators ( disclose the efforts to the public, allowing others to learn how things were done ) only increases the chance of further development, thus further patents, and so on and so on.
With the full on overpowering efforts of Ai, and more importantly generative Ai, the capability to protect IP has taken a turn that no litigation could ever keep up with and those owning inventions, patents, trademarks, copyright, etc,. even employees in large firms, start-ups, commercial R&D institutes, and universities ( typically protected in many ways of the ownership of IP developed ) may end up in the future automatically assigning IP to their employer, who, listed as applicant or assignee in legal documents, today, cannot even act quickly enough in a mode where the minute something is created and sold, the next minute it is re-morphed into another format and sold, etc., etc., etc., thus the disputes, previously sources of legal and financial headaches now may not even be executed on, for, as soon as one is dealt with, 100’s more issues could be in the pipeline.
Despite the potential challenges, intellectual property protection, generative artificial intelligence, and incredibly expensive IP litigation, even when ultimately successful, requires a blend of forward thinking capability focused on firm sustainability for firms and financially strong groups to push beyond the limits of the onslaught of the Ai Generative Design zeitgeist that we are all facing now and, as pertaining to what Steve Jobs once said, that “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” yet only in terms of ROI. The most significant discoveries come from the creativity that comes from playing and experimenting and the freedom to imagine and explore, and embrace the wisdom of that labs based R&D efforts deliver to liberate roadblocks for breakthroughs that may change the world when woven carefully with entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial laser focus.