prior art


Definition of prior art

patent law
: knowledge that is publicly available (as from the description in an already existing patent, from publications, or from public use or sale) before the date of filing a claim for a patent for an invention a finding by the judge that there was no advancement of design in the new invention over the prior art

First Known Use of prior art

1883, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of prior art was in 1883

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Cite this Entry

“Prior art.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for prior art

prior art


Legal Definition of prior art

: the processes, devices, and modes of achieving the end of an alleged invention that were known or knowable by due diligence before and at the date of the invention also : the knowledge or description of such processes, devices, or modes used chiefly in patent law


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