prior art

noun

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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Law Dictionary

prior art

noun

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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