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Learn about the requirement that an invention be new, i.e., that no single prior art reference expressly or inherently disclose all of an invention’s claimed elements.


In addition to being useful, a claimed invention must be novel, or new, relative to what was known before. What was known before is called the prior art. In general, the novelty analysis involves two inquiries. The PTO and courts consider what a prior art reference discloses and when the prior art reference was available. 

I.              What a Prior Art Reference Must Disclose to Anticipate