Step 3) Invention Hierarchy

Now that we have the overall picture of the pain points your innovation is addressing (from step 1) and your innovation’s technical solution (step 2), we can start rating and prioritizing.

Technical advantages

Fill in the numbered list in section 3 of the Word document with all the advantages of your technical solution you can think of. This is about the effects that the building blocks create when they are put into practice. Try to be open-minded and include everything that comes to mind.

Some examples:

  • Better use of computing resources, like saving processing power, storage space, or network bandwidth
  • Better performance
  • Better scalability
  • Better mainainability
  • Better compatibility
  • Higher quality output
  • Higher security
  • Improved control of a technical device or process
  • Improved human-machine interface / user experience
  • More accurate simulation of a real-life entity

Make these advantages specific to your application domain, for example:

  • Better digital audio, image or video enhancement or analysis, e.g., de-noising, detecting persons in a digital image, estimating the quality of a transmitted digital audio signal
  • Better separation of sources in speech signals; speech recognition, e.g., mapping a speech input to a text output
  • Better encoding of data for reliable or efficient transmission or storage, e.g., error-correction coding of data for transmission over a noisy channel, compression of audio, image, video or sensor data
  • optimizing load distribution in a computer network

Which building block contributes how

For each advantage, describe how it is achieved, i.e., clearly explain which of the building blocks from section 2 contribute in which way to achieve the effect. Use consistent terminology across the different sections of the invention description.

Invention hierarchy

When you’re done with the list of technical advantages and building blocks that cause them, take a step back and reflect on how each technical advantage contributes to addressing the customer pain points from section 1.

Rearrange the list in section 3 as needed so that the most important technical advantages and the building blocks that cause them are on top.

A good litmus test for this prioritization is: If you could pick one building block that your competitors are not allowed to use (either a structural one or an activity), which one would that be? Put it on top of the list.

In the end, the list should be ordered along the absolutely critical features of your innovation, then one or more add-on features that are nice to have, and then one or more features that are necessary but in themselves conventional.

Working title

Now is also a good time to define a snappy working title of the invention. It should be short and to the point, maybe something like “((core technology)) for ((customer pain point))”.

Example: AI for enhancing image quality in radiology images

Go to the top of the Word document and fill in the ((title)) and ((date)) placeholders.