This doesn’t make sense at all given what we already know about how the patent system works. Once upon a time, an idea was far less valuable than it is today. A product was thought of as a product; a process was seen as a process; even a machine was treated as having an idea. Now, nearly all of those concepts are rejected by the courts.
As a result, there are far fewer patent applications filed each year. If a product, process, machine, etc., come along that is substantially different from previously patented products or processes, it simply doesn’t matter if the inventor can patent the new invention. Instead, all they have to do is file a patent application and let the government look over their patent application and decide if it’s worthy of being considered for a US patent. If it’s not worth doing, then the inventor loses all rights to his or her invention. This is why so many inventors choose to file a design for an invention with a non-practicing entity, such as a computer company or a design firm instead of with a practicing patent attorney.
Patents should be awarded on the basis of utility, design, manufacture, design to use as a pattern, process, method, design to implement, business purpose or effect, etc. In other words, the Patent Office wants to see an invention idea is a utility or practical product in use throughout the normal course of events, not just a blueprint or a sketch. One might think that drafting a patent application containing purely mechanical or chemical descriptions is sufficient to meet the requirements of utility and design, but that isn’t necessarily true. Sometimes, it’s best to start with an idea, a concept, or a prototype that has some practical use before drafting a patent application containing those things.