Everything Inventors Need To Know About Patent Searches And Prior Art
Invention ideas have revolutionized our world, and we are thirsty for more...
If you’re reading this, I believe that you belong to an elite group of individuals whose intelligence and creativity are a departure from what is considered normal.
Think about famous and historic artists and musicians for a moment: Hendrix, Dali, Matisse, Dylan, Cobain, etc.
There are plenty of people out there who bang drums, play pianos or paint murals, but only a select few are famous for it and will be remembered forever; they have transcended normality and become elite in their own reich.
I believe that inventors are, similarly, an exclusive group of ideators and conceptualists with the ideas, will, and belief to change the world.
I’m honored to have you, as an inventor, be it a new or established inventor, reading this article.
Invention Info and our sister site are here because the journey of bringing your product or idea to market can be confusing; we want to debunk myths and point you in the right direction based on where you are in the invention process.
More specifically for this article, we want to help you sort out the whole business of patent searches: What are they and why do you need to do it?
First...What Is Prior Art?
Prior art is defined by statute 35. U.S.C. 102. Essintailly it means anything that previously exists in the public domain.
Prior art can include:
Prior art is agnostic to where the material was published or in what language it was published.
Prior art may also include orally presented material, such as discussions at conferences, disclosures to competitors, certain disclosures to colleagues in a field, and other public statements.
A warning: Be careful inventors! There is a potential that you could create prior art against yourself by publicly disclosing an invention prior to the filing of a patent application. Public knowledge of the invention is considered prior art.
Prior Art Exceptions
There are exceptions to what is considered "prior art."
For instance, some public use may be considered experimental.
Another case is if the invention was previously thought of by another inventor, but they abandoned the process of following through with a patent.
It's generally good to understand that there is a lot of gray area when it comes to prior art, and if you're searching for existing patents or other prior art to validate your own invention idea, getting help is recommended.
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