I distinctly remember the words, "a person skilled in the art" in the definition of obvious. Something like, "A person skilled in the art, faced with the same problem, would reasonably be expected to arrive at the same invention."
Yes, I think that's more or less the exact statement of law (or whatever) surrounding patentability. But that just pushes the definition question back a step: how do you define "skilled in the art"? That's where the definition I gave comes in--someone who knows everything (that's been published) and can rearrange bits of it to make arbitrary new combinations but who is incapable of any creative insights, no matter how trivial. As poor as this definition sounds, if you think about it, it may be the best you can do--at least it's prescriptive, whereas almost any other definition of "skilled" is wide open to interpretation.
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