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Guidelines for Examination

 
 
2.
Obvious combination of features? 

2.1 Obvious and consequently non-inventive combination of features:

The invention consists merely in the juxtaposition or association of known devices or processes functioning in their normal way and not producing any non-obvious working inter-relationship.

Example: Machine for producing sausages consists of a known mincing machine and a known filling machine disposed side by side.

2.2 Not obvious and consequently inventive combination of features:

The combined features mutually support each other in their effects to such an extent that a new technical result is achieved. It is irrelevant whether each individual feature is fully or partly known by itself. However, if the combination of features is a bonus effect, e.g. as the result of a "one-way street" situation, the combination might lack an inventive step.

Example: A mixture of medicines consists of a painkiller (analgesic) and a tranquilliser (sedative). It was found that through the addition of the tranquilliser, which intrinsically appeared to have no painkilling effect, the analgesic effect of the painkiller was intensified in a way which could not have been predicted from the known properties of the active substances.