Inventive step

Pursuant to article 56 of the European Patent Convention, an invention is considered as involving an inventive step if, having regard to the state of the art, it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art.

This ‘non-obviousness’ criterion is to be distinguished from the novelty requirement in the sense that it implies a qualitative examination of the patent application in order to ascertain whether the invention claimed and the contribution it entails are creative enough in order to warrant protection under patent law