Occasionally, I get questions to explain the difference between invention and design. Both invention and design are used widely to refer new product or new technology. However, from a technical point of view invention and design are two separate concepts. Invention refers to functional aspect of a product while design refers to visual aspect of a product. Invention of a new product or new technology may refer to one of the following criteria:
1. new physical feature.
2. new combination or arrangement of old feature.
3. new use of an old feature.
Shoppers used to hand carry baskets which can carry small amount of goods. Goodman introduced a shopping trolley (or cart), which is a large wire basket with wheels, so that shoppers can buy more goods without being burdened by the weight of the goods. He introduced a new way for people to shop. He introduced a new function for a large basket with wheels. The shopping trolley is an invention.
The shape, configuration, pattern or ornamental aspect of an article is referred as design. Since the shopping trolley has new visual appeal than it is also considered a new design.