Difference Between Invention and Innovation


Main Difference

The main difference between invention and innovation is that while the invention is an act of designing, discovering or creating a new process, product, device or method; innovation is transforming or updating an existing product, device, method or process in order to enhance its value.

Invention vs. Innovation

The invention is a novel idea while innovation is transforming that idea into reality. The invention is something that never existed before and innovation is making an idea into a tangible object. The invention can produce a new object while innovation makes changes to the existing object. Inventions are created through scientific research and experiments and innovation is a good change brought about to already available products and services, which in turn fulfills the needs of customers by having better services and products. Inventions are mostly patented to give security to the inventor. This happens through protecting their intellectual rights. Even the term invention is patented and a legal term. One cannot copy another’s invention as their own. Innovations are not patented, as they simply redesign or improve existing inventions. Innovations can also generate new products or processes to fulfill economic as well as social needs. An innovation requires existing resources, while an invention is a new resource itself that was never seen or discovered.


Comparison Chart

It refers to devising a new process, idea or a product that has never been created before.By innovation, we imply the transformation or redesign of an idea, process or product for the first time.
Creation of a novel process, product, device, or idea.Enhancing the value of something already existing.
An original idea.Implementing a new idea practically.
Required Skills
Skills scientific in nature.Skills that are technical, strategic, and marketing in nature.
When a novel idea comes in a scientist’s mind.When it is a need to improve an existing product.
A single process, product, device or an idea.A combination of different processes, devices, products, and ideas.

What is an Invention?

An invention is a process, idea, composition or even a technological device that is totally unique. It is an essential part of the process of developing and engineering a product. It always creates something new that never existed before. An incredibly unique invention always become successful and brings the inventor fame. It becomes an incredible breakthrough for him as compared to others in the same field as him. Inventions serve various functions and purposes. They do not always create positive value, but some keep on developing over time. Some of the inventions are usually patented. The rules and methods of patenting differ from country to country, and the process of patenting is usually expensive. There is no limit to inventions in artistic and design creativity. Such inventions surpass the limits of human capability and knowledge. Inventions are technological, sociopolitical, humanistic, artistic, philosophical and even cultural.

  • Sociopolitical inventions make new laws and new modes of human social behavior. They also are responsible for establishing new forms of institutions, organizations and the basis of human interaction.
  • Humanistic inventions embody an entire culture and are as revolutionary and significant as any scientific or technological invention.
  • Artistic inventions are the newest forms of paintings and music and literary stuff by famous artists and writers around the globe.
  • Philosophical inventions are the many kinds of logic and their explanations that were created from time to time by philosophers.


Vaccination, the atomic bomb, the Internet, smartphone, laws, the British Parliament, the US Constitution, neologisms, cinema, photography, psychoanalysis, electric bulb, etc.

What is Innovation?

By innovation we mean the introduction of a new and good trait that is added to an existing or a new method of production, organization, industry, product, etc., in order to enhance its quality. It is an idea that is turned into a tangible realistic form. It is mostly used in business and market to boost sales and fulfill their customers’ requirements. There are different techniques for making an innovation. Innovation can be done in business as well as culturally. It is the application of new ideas that are applicable in the context of business and marketing. Innovation serves many purposes. Without innovation, companies cannot bring constant value to their clients. It also translates a creative idea into good service. Innovation is also finding better and newer solutions to existing problems. There are many types of innovation, including disruptive innovation, radical innovation, incremental innovation, and disruptive innovation, product innovation, process innovation, or business model innovation.


Concentrated solar power, geothermal energy, GPS feature in phones, touch screen mobile phones, new models of space aircraft, Uber service, Amazon service, Google, Wikipedia, Tesla Model S electric cars, a vending machine that bakes pizzas, etc.

Key Differences

  1. The invention is the emergence of a new, original idea in theory and innovation practically implements a new idea.
  2. Invention means a new product’s creation while innovation brings about transformations in the existing product in order to increase its worth.
  3. Invention demands scientific skills whereas innovation requires practical marketing, technical and strategic skills.
  4. The invention is restricted to the development and research department of an organization. Innovation is spread everywhere in the organization.
  5. The invention is related to a single process or product. On the contrary, innovation is focused on the collection of different services and products.


From the above article, it is concluded that the invention is something that was never seen in the world before being discovered and, innovation is an effective way of distributing or improving something.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss