What does the term "prior art" mean in reference to patents?
1 Answer from Attorneys
See 35 USC 102 which lists what is prior art.
"A person shall be entitled to a patent unless—
(1) the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention; or
(2) the claimed invention was described in a patent issued under section 151, or in an application for patent published or deemed published under section 122 (b), in which the patent or application, as the case may be, names another inventor and was effectively filed before the effective filing date of the claimed invention. "
There are exceptions, so see a registered patent attorney
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