Whether or not an idea is a patentable invention depends on several factors. Listed below are the most important ones: non obviousness, Non-frivolousness, Prior teaching, and Motivation to make the combination. If you believe your idea qualifies for a patent, read on. After all, there are thousands of ideas out there. Here are some tips to help you get started. Hopefully, this article has helped you decide whether or not your idea is patentable.


The non-obviousness standard is one of the primary factors that determine whether an invention is patentable. However, it has certain limitations. For example, an invention can be patentable even if the elements that make up the invention are known to the public and are found in similar arts. In a patent case, an inventor can also qualify a discovery as an invention if he or she discovered a cause or a source for a problem. A solution that is known to be ingenious and not already available in the public can qualify as an invention.

An inventor can also claim non-obviousness based on an observation that the invention is not obvious. The failure of other individuals to make the invention will be evidence of non-obviousness. If the invention is not known to the public, it must not have been invented by a person of ordinary skill. The failure of others may also be an objective consideration. The failure of other companies to patent the invention may be evidence of the invention’s novelty.

Although there is no universally accepted definition of non-obviousness, patent courts have been unanimous in that an invention must be obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art. However, they have never agreed on what constitutes an ordinary person’s credential. A person may have an advanced academic degree, but this does not make him/her an “ordinary” person. Further, it may be possible that the examiner would use a different approach to the non-obviousness standard.

The Supreme Court has recently revised the standard for determining obviousness. Since the Court’s ruling in KSR v. Teleflex, the standard for determining patentable invention has changed. Under the rigid standard, the invention must have been made publicly known to people prior to its patenting. It is impossible for someone to make such a determination without the aid of prior art. However, the Federal Circuit applied a rigid standard in KSR v. Teleflex, which eliminated some inventions as obvious because they are in the public domain.



Not all inventions are patentable. Some are not even patentable, due to their frivolous nature. Examples of frivolous inventions are those that violate the natural laws of the universe. These include perpetual motion machines and inventions that violate public morals or order. The laws of physics and biology prevent inventions that would lead to serious harm to animals or the environment from being patentable.

The Supreme Court’s decision was considered to be a “flash of genius” by critics of the patent system. The court’s rulings prompted Congress to pass the predecessor of SS 103. A major decision in the patent process involved interpretation of SS 103 and the Constitution of the United States. A patentable invention is not frivolous if it is based on a previously published idea.

Applicants should consider the country in which they plan to file for patent application. Every country has different criteria for determining whether an invention is patentable. It should be a novel idea, capable of industrial application, and not frivolous. Inventions must also be unique, not obvious, and not have been used or published by anyone else. The inventor must have developed a new technology, process, or product, or improvement that is not available anywhere else.

Prior teaching

Prior teaching is a patentable invention, as long as it teaches another person how to perform the same or similar task. If a teaching is described as routine, then it is not a patentable invention. The patent examiner will consider the claim language when determining whether it is a patentable invention. In many cases, the language is redundant, stating the novelty of the invention. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.

Motivation to make the combination

Combination patents involve the combining of existing inventions. Because the patent process for combination inventions can be complex, it is crucial to measure the motivation to make a combination patentable. The Teaching-Suggesting-Motivating (TSM) test helps assess motivation. It helps determine whether the individual inventor is genuinely motivated to pursue a combination patent. However, if a person’s motivation is not sufficiently strong, they may still fail to make a combination patentable.

To establish a claim, a person must show motivation to make the combination of two or more references. Whether a combination has the required motivation depends on whether the primary reference is an essential element of a combination. A primary reference must be sufficiently related to the secondary reference to be considered sufficient motivation. However, if the primary reference is not used in combination with the secondary reference, the combination may not be patentable.

The court in O’Brien determined that market forces, design incentives, and common sense may be sufficient motivation for a combination. This court’s decision makes it clear that the PTAB didn’t need to find a motive to make a combination patentable. But it did find evidence of a general desire to improve an existing product or to develop a new one. So, the PTAB’s reasoning was correct.

Combination inventions

Several factors play a role in determining whether combination inventions are patentable. In a recent case, the court held that a simple juxtaposition of two properties prior to the priority date does not qualify as a combination invention. The patentability of a combination invention is therefore dependent on whether there is functional reciprocity between the two components. The combination invention may be a combination of one or more features that enhances the activity of another.

In order for a combination invention to qualify for a patent, it must have an extraordinary outcome. Both of the components of the combined inventions must function in a unique and harmonious way. The combination of two patents cannot be a patentable idea unless the new invention brings out the most relevant aspects of each of the other patents. The combined invention must meet the criteria of novelty and non-obviousness in order to be eligible for a patent.

Obtaining a patent for a combination invention has gotten more complicated in recent years due to a landmark case in the US, called KSR v. Teleflex. This case concerned an innovation in auto manufacturing. The court held that combining two constituents was “obvious” and not patentable. This case changed the definition of what constitutes an “obvious” combination and imposed an extra-stringent standard. To obtain a patent for a combination, the combination must be novel in its field.

Combination inventions were easier to obtain in the past, but have become more difficult in recent years. Patent attorneys and patent agencies can help applicants navigate the process and ensure they get the protection they deserve. The standards used by the US Patent Office and lower courts to determine whether an invention is patentable under the law were revised in 1999. There is no clear definition of “obvious,” but it is a key element in the patentability of an invention.