Questions tagged [prior-art]

For questions relating to the USPTO rules related to prior art or what constitute prior art. For REQUESTS FOR PRIOR ART please use the [prior-art-request] tag.

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53 votes
8 answers
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Can a YouTube video be submitted as prior art?

I'm trying to determine whether there is evidence that definitively confirms that a YouTube video can be submitted as prior art. If there is an example of one being used as the grounds for rejecting ...
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47 votes
10 answers
6k views

Microsoft have submitted a patent for a whack to silence a phone ringer. How similar does prior art have to be?

Microsoft has filed for a patent on a new technique that allow users of mobile devices to silence them by delivering a firm whack. From The Register: Patent application 20120231838, aka CONTROLLING ...
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36 votes
8 answers
3k views

Can a sci-fi technology be submitted as prior art?

In response to a question related to multi-touch user interfaces this answer states: Prior art as published Multi-touch computer pads were used throughout the television show Star Trek: The ...
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34 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the window for finding prior art on a patent application?

I know that patents are not part of the public purview until months or years after the patent application is filed. Once these patent applications are made public, for how long can I submit prior art (...
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30 votes
2 answers
6k views

I had invented and published before this patent application - How do I get it invalidated?

In reference to the patent: PCT/GB2014/051152 WO 2014/170646 A1 granted and pending patents: GB1307148.5, GB1500104.3 and GB1500105.0 to What3Words Limited: Here is the screenshot from the video I had ...
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20 votes
4 answers
810 views

Can a granted patent be deeded to the public?

Please note, I'm not speaking in the context of a land patent, I just could not think of a better word than deed. Let's say that: I have a concrete implementation of something that can be patented I ...
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  • 702
19 votes
4 answers
695 views

Is there a way to achieve protections similar to "Copyleft" under the patent system?

I have heard about "Copyleft" and was wondering if there is an equivalent for works which fall under Patent law rather than Copyright law. Specifically, is there a way I ensure that someone cannot ...
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  • 303
18 votes
2 answers
878 views

Is use in foreign countries a bar to patentability?

If an invention is in use in a foreign country, but it is not patented in that country (or any other countries), and it is not the subject of a printed publication anywhere, could that invention be ...
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  • 751
16 votes
2 answers
876 views

Can the non-obviousness of an invention be challenged if the difference to prior art is only the mathematical-statistical approach?

TL;DR Given a patent application describing a calculation using a maximum likelihood approach, and a piece of prior art that has the same goal but uses Monte Carlo simulation, is this sufficient to ...
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  • 261
12 votes
5 answers
2k views

Prior art for double-tap to zoom in a structured document / web browser

Apple has patented (US7864163) the behaviour in Mobile Safari whereby double-tapping zooms in just enough to fit on the screen the particular box of content that was tapped. A computer-implemented ...
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  • 411
11 votes
3 answers
12k views

How do we check if a patent already exists for our idea?

The idea in question is for a gardening tool.
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  • 111
11 votes
3 answers
768 views

If a patent has been issued, can it still be invalidated by prior art?

Assuming the invention disclosed in a patent issued by the USPTO has been described in a book two years before it was submitted, can this patent still be invalidated by this prior art? If yes what is ...
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11 votes
4 answers
10k views

What is a continuation patent?

I understand that a continuation patent builds upon an existing patent (or application) by the same inventor. However, I find some aspects to be murky and prone to misuse. Specific questions follow: ...
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  • 863
10 votes
7 answers
1k views

Could Apple's recent patents be based on prior art?

Some of Apple's patents, I am pretty sure are based on Prior art some of these include: Patent US 7844915. Here is its claim 1: A machine implemented method for scrolling on a touch-sensitive display ...
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  • 101
10 votes
7 answers
2k views

How can I provably put something in the public domain so that someone else can not patent it?

I have a good idea that is non-obvious and new. I want to make this technology (a new encryption technique) available for everyone to use, and keep it entirely patent-free, including myself. I have ...
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  • 201
10 votes
1 answer
742 views

I have prior art for a pending patent. What should I do?

I invented something a couple of years ago, and made a working prototype and posted it on my blog. I also spoke about it publicly and brought it to an exposition. Lately, I've been thinking of selling ...
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10 votes
2 answers
915 views

Prior art for new treatment for anxiety disorder

Consider this WIPO: METHODS FOR TREATING SOCIAL DISORDERS and its current 3 entries at national levels: #US20110027765 -> Reviewer has requested some changes in the claims but it's going forward. UK: ...
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10 votes
3 answers
359 views

Prior art for compiler supporting programs as data objects

Microsoft has patent application 2011/0246973 which sounds suspiciously like Lisp. Here's claim 1: 1. A computer-readable medium having computer-executable instructions that when executed by a ...
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9 votes
4 answers
1k views

Can a master's thesis be used as prior art?

I wrote software in 1973 under Federal grant for my MS. While studing at CWRU, one of the early ARPA net sites, I wrote graphics display software for Project LOGOS, a government supported effort and ...
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  • 191
9 votes
4 answers
897 views

Do USPTO examiners search open-source codebases?

I have read many patent prosecution histories (on PAIR), but have never seen one that references an open-source codebase as grounds for a rejection. Instead, examiners have a tendency to rely heavily ...
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  • 281
9 votes
5 answers
1k views

Prior art for Vehicle Air Conditioner

Patent application #20120222429 claims: A vehicle air conditioner for a passenger compartment of a vehicle, comprising: a power source for driving the vehicle; a radiator provided ...
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9 votes
2 answers
578 views

Over time, which patent legislation applies, current or past?

Let's imagine a patent is filed in 2003 and later approved by the USPTO. Let's imagine someone wants to challenge it with valid prior art (year 2000 for example). Which legislation applies? The one ...
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9 votes
1 answer
468 views

Would software written in a country without software patents constitute prior art in the USA?

If I write an application here in Europe, where we don't have software patents, would an American company be able to apply for a US patent on a technique or algorithm used in the application? What ...
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9 votes
1 answer
767 views

What is the layman's definition of 'prior art' in the US and other countries?

Every now and then I hear and read about 'prior art'. Is that a US specific thing or is a global thing regardless of where you are based in, if and when wanting to apply a patent. Any answers would ...
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  • 201
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

How to invalidate a patent with prior art?

I currently work for a company being sued by a patent troll. We have a lawyer and a bunch of middle-men. I don't really get to talk to the lawyer. After tons of digging, I found prior art that ...
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  • 83
8 votes
1 answer
55 views

Prior Art from 2002 for XML to XSD generation?

In reference to the patent: US20110320926 I worked on a project that became an Apache (open source) project. The functionality and methods described in this patent existed in the Apache XMLBeans ...
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8 votes
2 answers
996 views

Does a software implementation count as prior art?

Does a software implementation count as prior art and sufficient proof to invalidate a patent application? Does it matter whether the implementation was closed-source, open-source or public-domain?
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  • 183
8 votes
1 answer
308 views

How rigorous are examiners

A business competitor is claiming "patent pending" on a product I know they did not originally create. The product is manufactured by us, the competitor in question, as well as at least 15 other ...
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  • 81
7 votes
3 answers
404 views

Where can I find best practices or guides for patent/SOTA research?

I work as an engineer (not software) and occasionally I have ideas that might make sense to follow through and maybe arive at some sort of invention. The first step would be, of course, to look up if ...
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  • 195
7 votes
5 answers
603 views

Best places to record ideas as prior art to avoid later patents (UK/US)

any advice on the best places/web sites of record to list ideas which you want to be on record as prior art so others can't patent them (UK/US/Europe) ? I have some ideas, which I don't want to ...
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  • 73
7 votes
5 answers
817 views

Prior Art for Onsite backup for internet-based data processing

Our startup is trying to provide a backup solution for Google Apps for your domain. In principle it's a software running on the client computer. Our software then connects to Google via APIs (GData) + ...
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  • 223
7 votes
2 answers
982 views

Does prior art need to cover all claims in a patent application in order to invalidate it?

If there are several Claims in a patent application, can prior art for one of them invalidate the entire patent application since all the other claims are dependent claims? Or does that just mean the ...
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  • 231
7 votes
3 answers
490 views

Are patents which are dependent on prior inventions valid?

Example: PersonA files a patent, such as a gesture, which depends on a touch screen. PersonB holds the patent for touch screens. PersonA is therefore patenting a use for touch screens. PersonA's ...
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7 votes
1 answer
440 views

Can web pages found with the Wayback Machine qualify as prior art?

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?...
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7 votes
3 answers
265 views

How detailed should the background be?

I'm attempting to form a non-provisional utility patent relating to a method and apparatus used for chemical separations. My question is concerning field of invention and subsequently prior art. Here’...
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7 votes
1 answer
116 views

What is the relationship between US20080195499 and Bitcoin?

In reference to the patent application: US20080195499 We found a patent that seems to cover sending and receiving funds via Bitcoin. I'm curious of how this might affect Bitcoin and existing companies ...
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7 votes
2 answers
365 views

Objecting granted Patent based on own e-mail correspondence as Prior art?

15 years ago I filed a provisional patent to establish myself as first in line to patent an idea for a novel internet business. I then submitted the idea (my working notes and flowchart) to a ...
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  • 71
7 votes
3 answers
959 views

Can 'my own' published application be used against 'my newer application' on the ground of 'prior-art'?

We have applied for a patent, it is published by 'PATENTSCOPE' of WIPO 7 months ago. It is presently with the International Preliminary Examination Authority (IPEA). The basis of invention is ...
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7 votes
2 answers
557 views

Prior art for Dual Air Drying Arrangement

Many people in the commercial vehicle industry use a "twin" air drying arrangement. Patent #us8118911, originally filed Nov. 10, 2006, and was granted on Feb 21, 2012, seems ridiculous to me....
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7 votes
1 answer
465 views

Patent Troll: Search Results with Image

There is a patent troll trying to get a number of websites to pay a license for a search that results in an image with text describing that image. The main claim might be roughly paraphrased as: A ...
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6 votes
1 answer
5k views

Can some explain "inter partes review" and "ex parte reexamination"?

Can someone explain what "inter partes review" and "ex parte reexamination" are when challenging patents with prior art?
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6 votes
3 answers
740 views

Can a prior publication by the inventors themselves defeat novelty?

I had published an article in a journal about an invention I was working on with my co-author. Now that we have been able to finish our project and came up with the drug, we want to apply for a patent ...
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  • 61
6 votes
2 answers
262 views

When can new prior art be brought during prosecution? How can we help?

I am looking for a clarification ideally for both USPTO and EPO procedures. I thought that: applicant could (must for US) bring new prior art anytime during prosecution until grant (through IDS for ...
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6 votes
2 answers
211 views

Does my past work qualify as prior art for US20140272267?

In reference to the patent: US20140272267 I am writing this in response to a recently filed patent application US 20120272267 A1; titled “Trauma Reduction without Ballistic Performance Reduction.” ...
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6 votes
3 answers
300 views

What is considered applicable prior art?

I contacted an invention development company about a general idea for a new product. Shortly afterward through a simple Google search I found a product very similar to my idea being sold on internet. ...
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6 votes
1 answer
84 views

How to submit prior art to contest application?

EP 2384964 A1 claims to be the foundation of split boards dating back to the early 1990's. Manufactures of Snowboards have been making woodcores with center plastic, bamboo and other impermeable ...
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5 votes
2 answers
97 views

At what point do conversations become prior art?

Is a conversation between two colleagues or a group in a lab meeting considered prior art? Neither are in a public forum. Is there an assumption of confidentiality?
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  • 51
5 votes
1 answer
595 views

Do you have to amend claims lacking novelty or an inventive step

If I file a patent application and it turns out some of my claims are lacking novelty, or an inventive step, do I need to amend those claims in order to comply with PCT Article 33(2) or PCT Article 33(...
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  • 151
5 votes
1 answer
227 views

Burying prior art/achieving broad presumption of validity via IDS

Are there any consequences for disclosing "too many" references in an information disclosure statement (IDS)? For example, one may do this to bury a damning reference, overwhelm the examiner so that ...
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  • 1,186
5 votes
2 answers
308 views

Prior art for US20140314679

In reference to the patent: US20140314679 Would the following applications qualify as prior art for this? US20100240990 CA2692570A1
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