Origin of an invention 

While the claim should in each case be directed to technical features (and not, for example, merely to an idea), in order to assess whether an inventive step is present it is important for the examiner to bear in mind that an invention may, for example, be based on the following:

the devising of a solution to a known problem; 
the arrival at an insight into the cause of an observed phenomenon (the practical use of this phenomenon then being obvious). 

Many inventions are of course based on a combination of the above possibilities - e.g. the arrival at an insight and the technical application of that insight may both involve the use of the inventive faculty.

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