Teaching, Suggestion, Motivation, Common Sense, And Gobbledygook In The Supreme Court

Law360, New York (December 13, 2006, 12:00 AM EST) -- A patent cannot be granted for an "obvious" invention. So when is it something obvious? That question bewilders many prospective patentees. Many believe that anything is obvious. Members of the patent bar often believe the opposite - that virtually nothing is obvious. But according to the current state of the law, an invention is obvious only if the prior art as a whole fairly “teaches, suggests, or motivates” a hypothetical person that has “ordinary skill in the relevant art” to make the invention.

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