Managing Innovation Section: OLL 1
The purpose of the learning is for you to develop your own learning. There are a number of tasks that you should complete before you undertake the next section. You can work through this section at your own pace. It is expected that you would take up to 3 hours to complete this section. You must complete this section before you move to the next section.
Open the presentation “Unit 3 Review ” and listen to the commentary.
This commentary summarises the previous Unit and enables you to see the links between the units.
Watch the video “Negative Innovations ” then answer the question in your workbook
Not all innovations have positive outcomes. This video show some of the unintended negative outcomes of innovations
Open the presentation “Ethics” and listen to the commentary, then answer the question in your workbook
Behaving ethically is important for your credibility. This presentations looks at the ethical issues around innovative behaviour
Open the audio file “Is this Ethical?” and listen to the discussion, then answer the question in your workbook.
This audio discusses the ethics of an innovation that tracks children.
Open the audio file “Risk of failure”, and then answer the question in your workbook.
Failure is common and this audio considers the risks of failure
Watch the video “Risk ”, then answer the question in your workbook
This presentation takes a deeper look into risk
Read the article “Protecting your innovation ”, then answer the question in your workbook
Protecting your innovation can be important and difficult. This document provides an outline of the benefits and costs of protecting your innovation.
Protecting your Innovation
If your innovation is about creating value then you would want to ensure that value is legally protected. However, not all innovations are necessarily worth protecting, or even can be legally protected. There are a number of factors that determine whether your innovation is worth protecting or can be protected legally.
As we have seen innovations fall into different levels; Transformational, Category, Market and Operational. The level of the innovation almost certainly determines whether the innovation is worth legally protecting.
Almost all innovations in the transformational level would need to be legally protected if you wanted exclusive rights to the benefits and some fiscal reward for your innovation. I say almost all because there are examples of transformational innovations that were never legally protected such as the World Wide Web, the basis of the internet. Furthermore, it may be difficult to legally protect transformational innovations because they may not be protectable legally. For example the Human Genome cannot be patented because it is endemic to everyone. However, processes to manipulate the Human Genome may well be protected legally.
Category innovations are also legally protected on a wide scale. This is because they often adaptations of transformational innovations. An example of this is smart phones. Touch screens are now an integral part of smart phones, yet the initial innovation has been around for much longer. In the video on creativity Kirby pointed out how touch screens have been widely in use before they appeared in smart phones, but the only bit that Apple patented was the slide to lock feature. Samsung and Apple have been locked in legal battles over various innovations.
Market innovations are also protectable, but much harder to do so. The options to protect market level innovations are more likely to be around copyright or design right. This is because innovations in this category build on past innovations and tend to be for focused on a narrower aspect.
Operational level innovations are almost never protected legally. This is usually because the effect of the innovation is often very local. We have seen this in the case studies. The online retailer used something that was profoundly innovative within the confines of the business but in a wider context was not really innovative at all. The case study on the baker was a similar story. Changing the nature of their bakery was very much an operational innovation.
There are a number of legal steps you can take to protect your innovation.
Patents – there are three types of patents, utility, design and plant patents. Utility patents protect new and useful processes, machines, items and combinations of materials. Design patents that protect original and ornamental designs for products. Finally, plant patents protect new varieties of plants. For one of these to be patented you need to demonstrate that it is useful, novel and not obvious. No one can use your innovation without your permission.
Copyright confirms authorship of literal, musical or artistic works. There is the fair use of material for things such as research or teaching, but you cannot copy distribute, perform or display the work without permission beyond the fair use.
Design rights or Trademarks are words, symbols, phrase or design that is used to distinguish the source of products, you do not need to register your design rights but you should.
All three are designed to protect you from people using your ideas without compensation to you.
Licensing allows others to use your innovation by licensing it, in other words you give permission for someone to use your innovation for a period of time in return for a fee. It can add a layer of protection because both you and the licensee would want to protect the innovation thus reducing the costs to you. In the event of someone breaching your rights the licensee may contribute to the cost of protecting the innovation.
There is one final factor to consider. You may well have an amazing innovation that changes dramatically the way we live. However, if you do not have the financial resources to protect that innovation the value of the innovation is worthless. This is not as uncommon as you may imagine and some surprising well known innovations have been copied despite being patented. While many companies are ethical about their business it is not the case with all businesses. Fundamentally, unless you have the money to take someone to court then your innovation is worthless to you. You can get patent insurance to help cover the costs, but that can be expensive and you may not get the total costs covered.
The quick quiz helps you track your learning
You should undertake further reading on the topics in this section. We recommend that you read the following:
Bessant, J. & Tidd, J. (2011), Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 2nd Ed, Chichester: John Wiley and Sons, Pages 450 to 458 and 246 to255
You should also watch the following videos:
The videos take a US view of patenting.
The next section is Unit 4 OLL 2
Introduction to the module
Welcome to this module on innovation. The module is designed to be used either individually or within a classroom setting. The module takes a non-technical approach to innovation and looks at setting innovation within small every day businesses. It explains what innovation and isn’t and how you can develop your skills and abilities to become better business owners. You will find the module will challenge your thinking around innovation in preparation for either starting your own business or developing an existing one.
This module can be used as a standalone module on innovation or as part of the Student Business e-Academy programme on Business start-up.
Download here related workbooks before starting the course:
All workbooks in this course please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org (MDX students), email@example.com (UMA students) or firstname.lastname@example.org (UNIST students), upon finishing the assignments.
Dr. Simon Best is a Senior Lecturer at Middlesex University, with interests in micro and small business start-up and development. Simon’s first career was 15 years as a chef; this was followed by two years as a Market Researcher and then 28 years as self-employed business owner. During his time as a business owner, Simon started businesses in Australia, Papua New Guinea, India and Viet Nam. Simon has extensive networks across many countries. Currently Simon leads the Enterprise development hub – EDH@MDX as well as lecturing in Entrepreneurship and small business development.
For discussion and course related questions visit the FORUM.
- Lectures 20
- Quizzes 11
- Duration 60 hours
- Skill level All levels
- Language English
- Students 75
- Assessments Self
UNIT 1. What is innovation?
- Lecture 1.1 What is innovation? Section: OLL 1
- Quiz 1.1 Quick Quiz U1OLL1
- Lecture 1.2 What is Innovation? Section: OLL2
- Quiz 1.2 Quick Quiz U1OLL2
- Lecture 1.3 What is Innovation? Section: SDL 1
- Lecture 1.4 What is innovation? Section: OLL3
- Quiz 1.3 Quick Quiz U1OLL3
- Lecture 1.5 What is innovation? Section: SDL2
UNIT 2. Acting innovatively
- Lecture 2.1 Acting Innovatively Section: OLL1
- Quiz 2.1 Quick Quiz U2OLL1
- Lecture 2.2 Acting Innovatively Section: OLL2
- Quiz 2.2 Quick Quiz U2OLL2
- Lecture 2.3 Acting innovatively Section: SDL 1
- Lecture 2.4 Acting Innovatively Section: OLL3
- Quiz 2.3 Quick Quiz U2OLL3
- Lecture 2.5 Acting Innovatively Section: SDL 2
UNIT 3. Levels of innovation
- Lecture 3.1 Levels of Innovation Section: OLL 1
- Quiz 3.1 Quick Quiz U3OLL1
- Lecture 3.2 Levels of Innovation Section: OLL 2
- Quiz 3.2 Quick Quiz U3OLL2
- Lecture 3.3 Levels of Innovation Section: SDL 1
- Lecture 3.4 Levels of Innovation Section: OLL 3
- Quiz 3.3 Quick Quiz U3 OLL3
- Lecture 3.5 Levels of Innovation Section: SDL 2
UNIT 4. Managing innovation
- Lecture 4.1 Managing Innovation Section: OLL 1
- Quiz 4.1 Quick Quiz Unit 4 OLL 1
- Lecture 4.2 Managing Innovation Section: OLL 2
- Lecture 4.3 Managing Innovation Section: SDL 1
- Lecture 4.4 Managing Innovation Section: OLL 3
- Quiz 4.2 Quick Quiz Unit 4 OLL 3
- Lecture 4.5 Managing Innovation Section: SDL 2