I'm trying to claim prior art on the "Twitter" patent. But if that prior art only ever existed as a web page, and only now exists as a Wayback Machine snapshot, does it qualify as legitimate prior art?
migrated from meta.patents.stackexchange.com Mar 21 at 13:38
Web pages that are part of the Internet Archive (ie. found with the Wayback Machine) are web pages that were once public, and may be considered "Printed Publications" as per MPEP 2128.
Of course, web pages have been used as prior art during patent prosecution before. For instance, during Amazon.com v. Barnesandnoble.com (1999):
The Wayback Machine is seen as an effective tool for searching for prior art that is no longer generally available online. But there are some drawbacks to using this tool. For instance, as Intellogist points out, dating previously published materials can be tricky.
TLDR: Public websites that are no longer available may serve as valid examples of prior art.