U.S. patent law Edit
Under 35 U.S.C. §102. of U.S. patent law, to be patentable, an invention must be novel. Under the provisions of Section 102, an invention should not have previously existed through the work of others. The specific provisions of Section 102 require that in order to qualify as prior art there be some public aspect to the previously existing work of others; inventions concealed through trade secret protection do not preclude patent protection on grounds of lack of novelty or nonobviousness.
|“|| (a) the invention was known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country, before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent, or
(b) the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country more than one year prior to the application for patent in the United States . . .
If the invention has been described in a printed publication anywhere in the world, or if it has been in public use or on sale in this country before the date that the applicant made his/her invention, a patent cannot be obtained.
If the invention has been described in a printed publication anywhere, or has been in public use or on sale in this country more than one year before the date on which an application for patent is filed in this country, a patent cannot be obtained. In this connection it is immaterial when the invention was made, or whether the printed publication or public use was by the inventor himself/herself or by someone else. If the inventor describes the invention in a printed publication or uses the invention publicly, or places it on sale, he/she must apply for a patent before one year has gone by, otherwise any right to a patent will be lost.
An innovation which was previously "known or used" is said to have been anticipated by the prior invention. Known, used, and prior invention are all words of art and have meaning peculiar to patent law.