a requirement for patentability in which an invention must be non-obvious to a person skilled in the art of the relevant invention The lack of an inventive step was the basis for the rejection of the patent application.
- Examiners assess each patent application to check that it is genuinely new or at least involves an 'inventive step'.
- By section 3 of the Patents Act 1977 an invention involves an inventive step if it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art.
- If the only novel and inventive step concerns the computer program itself, then the machine as a whole is not patentable.
- Merely taking two older inventions and sticking them together will not necessarily be regarded as an inventive step.
- The expression inventive step is commonly used in Europe, while the expression non-obviousnessis more common in the United States.