For an invention to be patentable, it has to be both new and what’s known as ‘non-obvious’.
If no one else has the same thing, then the invention would be new. Discovering this is the easier hurdle to overcome.
The trickier hurdle is non-obviousness. Ironically enough, what exactly that means is… not very obvious.
Without speaking legalese, the basic idea is to actually bring something inventive to the table, not just put something together that anyone working in that field could have reasonably figured out.
This is where the portion of the question- ‘ … if no one else has the same thing’ – gets tricky. It’s possible to put together something no one else has- yet it may still be considered ‘obvious’ and therefore not patentable.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear cut delineation of what is or isn’t non-obvious. It largely depends on who is looking at it.
If you have any questions, contact us at FishIPLaw.com