By novel it means that it simply must be new, different from what is defined as “prior art” and includes any knowledge already existing in:
- the public domain
- prior patents
- published applications
- publications available to the public
- items on sale
“Prior art” is also described by patent law as anything disclosed as mentioned in the above categories by:
- Someone other than you or: a joint inventor, another person which has received disclosed information from you/a joint inventor, at any time prior to the date you file your patent application.
- Or you, twelve months or more before the date you officially file your patent application.
“Prior art” can either help or become a problem for the original inventor if not treated with care:
- The risks comes from the one-year rule which applies to absolutely everyone, even to the original inventor. It means that if you have published your invention or began selling it and you don’t file a patent application in twelve months from the date you have published the invention or sold the first item, you lose the right to patent the invention.
- The advantage of disclosure is that your disclosure acts as prior art and nobody can try to obtain a patent within one year from the date of disclosure.
A Provisional Patent Application does not start the one-year rule because your invention is not published by filing for Provisional Application. If your invention has not been disclosed in a publication or by being sold, you can file for a Non-Provisional Application two or more years after filing a Provisional Application.