1

Let's suppose that some 8th grader documented their invention in a term paper and submitted it. The teacher graded it and returned it to the 8th grader. Ever since then, that paper is stored in the student's closet.

Ten years later someone patented this exact invention, can the 8th grader's paper be used as a prior art to invalidate this patent?

2 Answers 2

3

can the 8th grader's paper be used as a prior art to invalidate this patent?

First of all, it's irrelevant for the purposes of patent law that it was authored by an 8th grader.

From MPEP 2128: A publicly displayed document where persons of ordinary skill in the art could see it and are not precluded from copying it can constitute a “printed publication,” even if it is not disseminated by the distribution of reproductions or copies and/or indexed in a library or database.

The trouble is, according to the story, the document was never publicly displayed where persons of ordinary skill in the art could see it. So I would lean "no" in the case described.

0

Here's how I'm thinking about this. An imprecise but interesting test of whether a paper can be considered prior art is whether an unspecified person can go about potentially accessing the paper through legal means, which, despite the many difficulties that may be involved, needs to be legal. Since the paper is stored in the closet, I don't think there's any way for the unspecified person to get access to this paper through legitimate means. In the case of a teacher, the content of the paper is not made public even though he/she is aware of the content. In other words, for the unspecified person, who also does not know who he/she is going to get the content of the paper from .

HOWEVER, I remember a case where someone had already made the product(this product seems to be bra, I can't find the case now) corresponding to the patent before applying for the patent, and had his family OR girlfriend use it, which constituted a disclosure of use, and was eventually invalidated.

I hope that's been of some help to you.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .