FAQ  •   Login  •   Register  •   Subscribe 

Welcome to the Forum for InventorSpot.com, the most popular invention related website in the world. Read our welcome message.

Skip to content

Moderators: Scrupulous, Roger Brown, citizen


FAQ: What is "Prior Art"?

Postby Road Show » Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:23 am

User avatar
Road Show
Brown Belt
 
Posts: 962
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:39 pm
Location: SoCal
FAQ: What does the term "prior art" mean?

(I'm not a quick learner, Scrup. Be patient with me my friend!)
Last edited by Road Show on Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:34 am, edited 2 times in total.

Postby Scrupulous » Tue Oct 02, 2007 7:12 pm

User avatar
Scrupulous
Black Belt
 
Posts: 2387
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:32 pm
Location: United States
Road Show, please edit your answers so that they appear as a reply message to the original question. This way, people looking to help out will know if a question has been answered already.

Thanks a trillion

BTW, I really dig your new profile image. I'm not even gonna ask where you got it. :D

Postby Scrupulous » Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:52 am

User avatar
Scrupulous
Black Belt
 
Posts: 2387
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:32 pm
Location: United States
No-ho-hoo, Road Show! :oops: I mean move it to a separate post. :D

(Leave the topic message blank, except for clarifying the question. I know, I know... I take "anal retentive" to new heights, right? :x )

It's okay. I'll move it carefully if you're not sure how...

Postby Road Show » Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:32 am

User avatar
Road Show
Brown Belt
 
Posts: 962
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:39 pm
Location: SoCal
The phrase "prior art" is easily misunderstood. It does not mean "prior patent", although most prior art searches focus heavily on patents and published patent applications, the assumption being that, for fields where there is extensive prior art, the "footprints" of all known relevant material can be found within the text of the patent documents on file with the USPTO.

In his book Patent it Yourself, David Pressman (paraphrasing U.S. patent law) defines prior art as:

"...generally the state of knowledge existing or publicly available either before the date of your invention or more than one year prior to your earliest patent application date." ~ [David Pressman, PATENT IT YOURSELF, p98]

RSG

Postby Scrupulous » Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:04 am

User avatar
Scrupulous
Black Belt
 
Posts: 2387
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:32 pm
Location: United States
Prior Art refers to patents. The word ‘art’ means technology, in this case. Prior art is anything that can be used to dispute the novelty or inventiveness of one or more patent claims.

For the documentation of an older (pre-existing) item to be considered prior art against the patentability of a younger item, the older item doesn’t need to be ‘technologically’ complex, necessarily. And, prior art may include issued patents, published applications, periodicals, internet content, seminars, etc.

With respect to patent claims, any form of prior art other than patent publications is normally used to bear only on the novelty (the newness) of a younger item. It is rarely used to determine the obviousness (the lack of inventiveness) of a younger item. This means that such alternate forms of prior art usually need to be documentations of an invention that is identical to the younger one (in terms of their features) to rule out patentability, and not just one that is similar enough to make the younger item potentially seem obvious to someone else.

A question of obviousness for a younger item is most often limited to the consideration of patent files on older items (I.e. issued patents, published applications, etc.). Differences in opinion regarding obviousness can be delicate matters, and should be handled accordingly.

cron