State of the art
The state of the art, in patent law, is the set of published ideas for a given domain.
Prior art is any proof that an idea was already part of the state of the art before a patent application was filed.
 What can be used as prior art?
- marketing materials
- conference proceedings discussing the idea
- source code
- ...many other things...
 Invalidating a patent
Two approaches are possible with prior art:
- Using just prior art: show that someone else previously did what's described in some or all of the claims
- Combining prior art with obviousness: show that someone previously did something similar, and argue that in light of this new information about what the state of the art was, the claims of the patent are too obvious
 Related pages on en.swpat.org
- How to read patents and gather prior art
- Prior-art database
- What is patentable
- First-to-file or first-to-invent
- Invalid patents remain unchallenged
- Invalidating harmful patents
- How to Find Prior Art Tutorial, audio and slides, by Dan Ravicher
- State of the art, Wikipedia
- The Relevance of Invention Date in Patent Prosecution (six parts), March 2010, Patently-O
- Peer-to-patents tutorial list: Learn about prior art
- the IP.com prior-art database - check: I think this is used by the USPTO. Right?
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