Originality is the aspect of created or invented works by as being new or novel, and thus can be distinguished from reproductions, clones, forgeries, or derivative works. An original work is one not received from others nor one copied based on the work of others. The term "originality" is often applied as a compliment to the creativity of artists, writers, and thinkers.
In the patent law of the United States and most other countries, only original inventions are subject to protection. In addition to being original, inventions submitted for a patent must also be useful and nonobvious.
In United States copyright law and the law of many other states, copyrights protect only original works of authorship, a property which has been historically and legally linked to a concept of "creativity". A work must pass a threshold of originality in order to be copyrightable.
An original idea is one not thought up by another person beforehand.
Sometimes two or more people can come up with the same idea independently.