What is the meaning of Prior Art?
The patent owner will consider your invention as the prior art when you submit a patent application. Your patent application may be rejected if the patent owner referred to your patent application finds that your invention is too similar to existing prior art. What then is prior art? Anything already known to the general public is called prior art. This can refer to patents that were already approved but it’s not necessary. A publication, journal, website, or pending or rejection of patent applications are all examples of prior art.
Let’s be clear about it. Anything in the public that is similar to your idea is known as prior art. It’s not necessary to have a patent. It can be a website where somebody is selling a product like yours. It might be a bit of writing, a piece of publications, or even a patent application that you submitted but got rejection. The key issue is that a patent examiner can consider a previous art to determine if your invention is eligible if someone else had an idea similar to your invention before you. And the general people can find such evidence. Here are some more instances:
1) Patents, worldwide, active or expired
Patent examiners can easily discover if something is already patented. Because they have access to worldwide patent databases. Prior art includes all patents, not just those in the US. As a result, the examiner may argue that your innovation has already been considered and is not eligible in the US If, for instance, someone else invented it in Europe. Keep in mind that this protection applies even to expired patents. Anyone can produce an innovation with an expired patent. Remember, everything in the public can be prior art. Thus that expired patent is still recognized to be prior art.
2) Not approved patents, worldwide
No matter how well the patent examiners accept a non-provisional patent application . It is typically released into the patent database for public viewing when an inventor files it. It is simply a step in the application process for a patent. Therefore, even if the patent office officially deny the patent application, this publication will still be accessible to the public through the patent database. And thus be considered as prior art. However, it makes good sense because you have to be the first to invent something in order to receive a patent. If someone else has already been created, you are not the first to do so. The fact that the other company never received their patent is irrelevant.
The fact that someone came up with the idea before you meant that. Despite as when they receive a patent themselves, they can use their patent application as prior art. It is because to prove that you did not create the invention first.
3) Journals, publications, articles
Prior art is something that is generally available. Therefore, this covers any printed or online publications. If someone published an article on an invention that is similar to yours, the patent office could use that piece as prior art. It means that you did not come up with the concept first.
The patent office can use someone selling an identical item on their website as previous art to challenge your claim that you were the first to come up with the idea. Even if the person selling the product doesn’t have a patent, the patent office may still consider his website as prior art. The key idea is that having a patent is irrelevant. The patent office may claim that you are not eligible for a patent. Because someone else has considered your idea.
We’ve seen patent examiners reject a patent application using an eBay or Amazon website. We’ve even observed clever patent examiners claim that some website previously disclosed an inventor’s invention at some point in history by using some tools. Like Search Tool, a website that stores screenshots of what websites looked like in the past, even though that website no longer shows the same content. Each public resource is accessible! Due to the wide variety of previous art, it is common to do a patent search before filing a patent application. Before you file a patent application, a patent search can show you some relevant prior art, that a patent examiner may use. Although it is not an exact science, it can also give you the opportunity. That is to work around the prior art to increase your chances of getting your patent granted.