Although there may be some merit to the marketing concept, I disagree with the premise that there are no new ideas. My thought is that the idea is original to that particular thinker and not that it is already known. For example, when the wheel was first discovered by a person, or people, it would be considered an original idea. But what if that same wheel was also discovered at the same time somewhere distant from the first wheel and without knowledge of the discovery? I submit that the idea is original to the new inventor or inventors. If the idea is new and original to the thinker, then it is original. It may be of no commercial value because of the existence of others of the same kind, but it is new and novel to the thinker. I guess that may be where the expression “reinventing the wheel” came from.
I have several US patents and the patent office has said that they are “new and novel” when they granted the patent. It simply means that the patent office found no other ideas (prior art) that were the same. But they can’t really know that for sure. What if my ideas were written up by someone else but never published? But like the second wheel, these ideas were original to me. In this instance, the patent office agreed.
As a sideline, the patent office does make an effort to find prior art. I like the example of the patent application that used ping poll balls to raise sunken ships. The thought was that the air enclosed in the ping pong balls would displace the water if enough were used. But, the patent examiner found a comic book with Donald Duck and his nephews using the same idea some twenty years earlier. The application was denied as there was prior art that had been disclosed. But, I believe that it was still an original idea.
The trend here is that new ideas will be thought about every day by many people. Some will be out of necessity, some for mental exercise, and some for fun. But, they will all be original…