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Innovation, Novelty and Patent Protection

What is Prior Art?

Prior art is any evidence that your invention is already known.  Prior art consists of all information that has been disclosed to the public in any form about an invention and which could call into question an inventor's claims that his or her invention is wholly original.  Prior art does not need to exist physically or be commercially available.  It is enough that someone, somewhere, sometime previously has described or shown or made something that contains a use of technology that is very similar to your invention. Prior art includes things like any patents related to your invention, any published articles about your invention, and any public demonstrations. Prior art could disqualify your application for a patent, and can be used to contest the validity of a patent.

Examples of Prior Art

Foreign patents and patent applications
Scientific and technical databases
Scientific and technical journals
Scientific posters & presentations
Handbooks, manuals and guides
Technical reports
Trade catalogs and magazines
Company publications

Patent Searching in Kent State Databases

Search Science Databases for Prior Art

Search Business & News Databases for Prior Art