Intellectual Property Rights


Novelty is one of the criteria of patentability in any examination as to substance.  An invention is new if it is not anticipated by prior art.

According to Article 33 of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), novelty is defined as follows:  “For the purposes of the international preliminary examination, a claimed invention shall be considered novel if it is not anticipated by the prior art as defined in the Regulations.”  Rule 64.1(a) of the Regulations under the PCT defines “prior art” as “everything made available to the public anywhere in the world by means of written disclosure (including drawings and other illustrations) shall be considered prior art provided that such making available occurred prior to the relevant date.”

Article 54 of the European Patent Convention (EPC) defines “novelty” as follows:  “An invention shall be considered to be new if it does not form part of the state of the art.  The state of the art shall be held to comprise everything made available to the public by means of a written or oral description, by use, or in any other way, before the date of filing of the European patent application.”

Section 35 of the United States Code 102 [Conditions for patentability; novelty and loss of right to patent] defines the concept of novelty as follows:  “A person shall be entitled to a patent unless — the invention was known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country, before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent …”.