Invention, Innovation, Patents and Copyright – GCSE Business Studies Revision

What’s invention?

  • Coming up with a new idea
  • To invent is to develop a completely new product or idea or process

What’s innovation?

  • Figuring out how to bring an invention to the market
  • To innovate is to develop new ideas that build upon those that already exist
  • An innovator is a person who finds a way to make an invention into a product that will sell


  • Getting a patent is a way to protect your invention
  • A patent makes it illegal to copy your idea
  • Patents last for 20 years
  • Patents need to be applied for and approved by a patents office – this can take quite a long time, and meanwhile you can only say “patent pending”


  • Copyright gives the owner of an idea the legal right to stop people from copying it
  • Copyright is free and does not have to be applied for
  • However, you do have to be able to prove you own the copyright, which could mean paying to store the proof somewhere safe


  • Someone must have a license to distribute products
  • A license applies to a single product
  • For example, Coca Cola is bottled in the UK under a license


  • They are the names of businesses/products and can’t be copied once they are registered
  • Symbols, signs, logos, names, slogans and other features of businesses can be protected by trademarks

About Matt

I like writing, filmmaking, programming and gaming, and prefer creating media to consuming it. On the topic of consumption, I'm also a big fan of eating.
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