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In order to be patentable, an idea, in addition to having some means of carrying it out, must involve invention.  In Hickton's Patent Syndicate v Patents and Machine Improvements Co. Ltd. (1909) 26 RPC 339 it was stated:

".....invention may lie in the idea, and it may lie in the way in which it is carried out, and it may lie in the combination of the two...."

Some generalised ideas or desiderata are inherently uninventive. Examples of such ideas are automatic operation, convenient arrangement of one's work, an increase in efficiency or combining a number of items in one piece - see Pierre Treand's Application (1961) AOJP 2164.

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