I work for a man who has invented an "improvement" to a skateboard. He put a video on YouTube a little over a year ago, but in the video all he does is ride the skateboard as part of an "art film" involving wind-surfing. There is no "discussion", no "teaching", nothing definitive about the design of the board. Can that be considered Prior Art?

  • Are features of the invention exposed from the video? Could it be demonstrated with off the shelf skateboard? If the how is not clear than I don't believe it is a prior art.
    – Moti
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 6:21
  • I am pretty familiar with skateboards, and did not notice the type of board he was using when I watched the art film on YouTube, no it could not be demonstrated with an off-the-shelf skateboard. He was not actually demonstrating the skateboard so much as his technique, skill and art in windsurfing. Commented Nov 27, 2015 at 16:50
  • OK - I am incorrect. The inventor steered me to another video in which he actually shows and demonstrates his skateboard invention, so I think he crossed that line of "prior art". I still cannot find verification that YouTube has been "legally" designated "printed publication" - can anyone steer toward that verification? Commented Nov 27, 2015 at 17:27
  • Could someone based on the video (including the wording) clearly be taught how to create his Invention? - if yes, this becomes "public disclosure" and this invalidates a patent. Why he did it?
    – Moti
    Commented Nov 27, 2015 at 23:23

2 Answers 2


This is currently an unsettled point, so it is impossible to give a good answer.

Intuitively, it seems that the second video you mention should be prior art, since it's a clear record of the invention. It would be arbitrary for a disclosure by video to make the disclosure exempt from being cited.

However, in Diomed, Inc. v. Angiodynamics, 450 F.Supp.2d 130 (D. Mass. 2006), a video was held not to be a printed publication, since there was no paper component to the video. This suggests that a video alone may not be enough, even if it shows all the necessary details.


I am not so aware of how US patent office would entertain the you-tube video, but my understanding of European Patent Law system, there is a provision that allow prior disclosure by any means to be used as prior art. For instance in the case T952/92, it clearly states "novelty of a claimed invention is destroyed by the prior disclosure (by any means) of an embodiment which falls within the claim. The possibility of a complete analysis of a prior sold product is not necessary." So whether a person skilled in art has done detailed analysis of a public disclosure is irrelevant as long as skilled person in that field could analyse the disclosure and develop the same improvement.

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