New Patent Law Expands Scope of Prior Art
The “prior art” is the body of earlier-disclosed information that can be cited against a patent application by the patent offices. Post implementation of “America Invents Act” (AIA) since March 16, 2013, following significant changes, particularly, to the scope of prior-art available under 35 U.S.C. § 102 have come into picture.
1. A claim of priority to an application anywhere in the world could create an effective filing date for a prior art reference.
2. Oral disclosures in foreign languages are now also available as prior art.
3. Secret sales and use do not qualify as prior art
4. Moreover, longstanding trade secrets are no longer considered prior art and are patentable under the new regulations, provided they meet all other criteria for patentability.