Glimmers of light - Ideas illuminate our world

   Life was good in the village ... We had just one problem: It was dark, very dark. Without light even the simplest things such as cycling or eating become a challenge. The villagers give up hope. A solution is missing -- until one of them has a sparking idea.

The directors´ idea

  In a village, where darkness rules life, the light bulb above the villagers´ heads gains a special meaning. The aspiration for light seems to be within one’s grasp. Yet no one really knows exactly how to illuminate the bulbs. The way to find a solution and to light up the bulbs is troublesome. Thereby the bulb receives a second meaning in this short film: it stands for an invention that has significantly influenced our daily lives and is one of the classic symbols for the meaning of ideas.

But what exactly is Intellectual Property?

  At the beginning there is an idea. Someone invents a machine, composes a song or creates a design. This intellectual effort results in a new product, a new song or a new trade mark and it is the “property” of the person who created it. That is the basic meaning of intellectual property (IP).

Until an idea pays off, significant efforts have to be undertaken.

  There is a long way between an idea and a finished product. Countless hours of research, development, rejection and redrafting. Along this way and after it the development has to be protected from plagiarism. That is the purpose of intellectual property rights. Research and development of new products cost a lot of money. In order for us to develop new ideas, the effort, which stands between an idea and a new product, has to be worth it – for inventors, designer and the industry.

Fakes are harmful to everyone – also to consumers.

  Everyone knows fake products such as t-shirts or sunglasses. Little is known about the actual dimension of the problem. Products from nearly every sector are affected. Counterfeiting isn’t just damaging the economy. The consumer is affected, too. What seems to be a clever purchase in the first place, often turns out to be of inferior quality or even a real danger to one’s health. Customer complaints will not be answered, refunds will not be provided. Consumers usually face difficulties in pursuing their rights after having bought fake products.

How about the numbers?

  The European Union has conducted two major studies about the importance of intellectual property for our economy and about how European citizens perceive IP. The studies show: innovations are the foundation for a major part of the European economy and secure jobs. European citizens acknowledge the value of IP. Still, millions of counterfeit products are bought every year.

Want to know more?


You can find the studies here:

Publications of the EU Observatory


On this webpage we have put together information for use in schools:

APM information for schools


The movie “Lichtblicke - Glimmers of Light” was produced with support from:



The Movie Project:

The short film “Lichtblicke – Glimmers of Light” is a production of the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. The production is the result of a competition, where we have asked the students of the Film Academy to present proposals on how to illustrate the topic “innovation and intellectual property” and its meaning for our society in a short film. The concept for the film “Lichtblicke” emerged as a winner from more than 30 submissions.

The Film „Lichtblicke" was made by Dorian Lebherz and Daniel Titz (Directors), Johannes Kunkel (Production) und Helena Hofmann (Producer).