The concept that the claims defining an invention in a patent application must involve an inventive step which, when compared with what is already known—the so-called prior art—would not be obvious to someone skilled in the art
61) To take the example of the PHOSITA obviousness lever, policy analysis of the obviousness standard in patent law has long recognized that this lever plays a critical role in responding to the degree of uncertainty that attends innovative activity, and particularly in fostering the chancy development of newly discovered technologies.
That distance between the communicational phenomenon and the questions about communication as a study object is a clear evidence of how difficult going beyond obviousness it has been in order to set the routes of research.
For all three conditions, this resulted in a U-shaped distribution, as subjects who thought the patent was either highly likely or highly unlikely to be obvious were more confident in their responses than subjects who concluded the obviousness decision was a closer call.
We must clear the inventions patentable [section] 101 hurdle before we even begin to discuss [section] 103 obviousness and conditions for patentability; what really amounts to going through the same process twice.