According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, the key element of an invention is novelty, however an invention becomes an innovation if it possesses two elements: novelty and utility. These are what differentiate innovation from invention:
- Innovation meets “the explicit or implied needs of current or potential customers” or delivers “unique new value to its customers.”
- The purpose of innovation is “to create a new value, be it for individual, team or organization or for the society at large.”
- Usefulness is indicated by people repeating, copying or imitating an innovation, using an innovation, buying or owning an innovation, or telling other people the benefits of the innovation.
An invention can be useless. Have a laugh: look at some examples of useless Japanese inventions (click here).