I have been in Innovation for 2 years now. its a case of been there done that. I still follow much of Innovation happenings across the world. the value attached to originality is immense and seems to be the only one in focus. from my experiences and readings, majority of the folks are not interested in only original stuff. they are fine to go with others experiences and expertise. as long as it meets the needs and helps run the daily life (or business), we dont expect to invent the wheel on a daily basis.
most innovation programs can do a world of good even if they can assemble solutions already in practice across the world. to only insist on patents as a measure of innovation is against the nature of innovation itself. Patents are good for scientists or business guys who need to protect commercial interests. but a world of good can happen if we can put before others simple and handy solutions.
a related experience is blogging. I keep seeing multiple sites where they emphasize the blog should be original. If each of us wrote a mutually exclusive blog , each of us needs to read each others blogs – not possible in a lifetime nor worth the effort. human behavior tends to align to areas of interest and through trial and error we will land up in our areas of interest. the hurdle is more in terms of Reach and how the knowledge can flow through multiple minds. replicating info is the best way to achieve this. my searches have been effective not by Google Search but by tracking many others who are experts in their field. they in turn depend on others for info…it goes on. My thought is : does it really matter what train compartment you get a seat on , if all that you want is to reach your destination?